We are in
the toughest time ever financially for most students.
The rising cost of education, books and housing makes for a major challenge for most any student. Bad economic times such as these also make it more difficult for students to find jobs after graduation. Now more than ever it is important to budget your money and plan for the long term post college.
Research student loan and grant money thoroughly; a percent or two savings on your student loan adds up to big money saved in the future. Consider a less expensive community and/or state college and then transfer after 2 years. If you must live off campus scour sites like Roommates.com and Craigslist for the best deals.
For you Freshmen find out the best places to purchase used textbooks, never pay full price if you can avoid it. Sophomore students review your spending from the prior year and highlight any unnecessary spending. Junior and Senior students should already be pretty budget savvy at this stage of college life and if you’re not it’s time to get going.
Pizza 4 times a week
versus Ramen Noodles? Where’s the best place to buy a 30 pack? Who
offers student discounts to attract new business?: these are things you
should be aware of all the time when considering your financial state.
Check out our awesome Circular Page for links to many of the best deals around and don’t forget the coupons!
Part time jobs are essential for many of you so create and/or fine tune your resume for the dreaded job hunt. As you may know sites like Craigslist often have a larger amount of local employment listings than the more traveled job websites. Once you find a job listing that interests you jump on it right away, unfortunately competition for even low paying part time jobs is fierce at the moment. Look presentable on interviews, bring a copy of your resume and by all means have your own pen in case you have to fill out an employment application right then and there.. Nothing spells “not prepared” to a potential employer like having to ask him/her for a writing tool.
Once you land a gig take it seriously, be on time and put your best effort forward.
Yeah it’s not your “dream job” but if you do it exceedingly well you’ll absolutely shine when you land your first “real job”, trust me.
Beware of Credit Cards and read the fine print thoroughly. Many cards have attractive introductory rates but after that period ends you may be looking at some serious charges. Factors such as going over your credit limit and making cash advances on your card can rocket your interest into Sopranos territory so be very careful there. Check if there are fees such as a “monthly service charge” or “membership fee” and how high they are.
It is unbelievably easy to get in debt over your head with plastic in a very short time so beware and pay cash whenever possible.
If you are already in deep with your cards go to our “In Debt” section for possible alternatives.
Create A Budget:
Not an easy task and often a pain in the butt to execute creating a budget is a skill you have to develop now in order to avoid heavy debt.
To control day to day spending make a daily tally sheet of your purchases over a span of a week or two. Make a master list of the expenses and determine what you can live without. Scan your lists for the impulse purchases you have made.
Calculate how much money you have coming in on a week to week basis and total a months’ worth as a baseline for your budget. Add up your weekly spending times four and see if it will fit into your baseline number for cash coming in. Add in your rent, car payments, utility bills etc. If you are over your baseline number further cut in expenses have to be made.
As in all things done well, consistency is the key here. Make saving money like you would an exercise routine or an obsessive hobby. Network and ask friends, family etc. for advice on purchases and money saving ideas. If you follow our save cabbage guidelines year after year a better financial future is in store for you.
Saving Cabbage is a skill we want you to have for a lifetime.
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