College is just around the corner and it’s hard to believe. Whether you are going to college for the first time or heading back after summer break, there are some tips you should keep in mind. There’s a huge stigma surrounding college students and money. You don’t have to be dirt poor while you’re in college, all it takes is smart thinking. Here are some money tips for those heading back to college.
1. Create a Budget.
A college student is never too busy or young to create a budget. If you aren’t certain how to get started with this, make a list of how much money you have going out and how much you have going in. Give every dollar amount a place in your budget and go from there.
2. Keep it Simple.
Eating out every night with friends isn’t going to make you rich anytime soon. Put a cap on your spending money and do free things instead. There are tons of free things to do while you’re in college and if you can’t find something there’s always studying to be done.
3. Pick Up a Side Job.
No college student wants to work full time while going to school; however, working a side job is a smart way to keep the cash flow going. Starting your own mowing or cleaning business are a few ways you can earn an extra income. Babysitting and maintenance are a few other ways. There are also companies that will pay you for product testing, and your opinion. Earning extra money in college is possible, just make sure you have a flexible schedule to accommodate your classes.
Related: 9 Odd Jobs to Make Money
4. Always Buy Used.
Whether you’re buying a car or books, always buy used. It’s amazing how much money you can save when you actually don’t buy something brand new. It may take a while to find exactly the item you are looking for, but second hand savings is a must when you’re in college. You can also sell back your college text books. Some good places for buying and selling used text books are half.com, Amazon.com (they have a buy-back program), and Chegg.
5. Plan Ahead.
When you’re doing your back to school shopping, pick up enough supplies to last you through the entire year. If you’re taking four classes in the Fall, and five in the Spring, make sure you pick up nine notebooks instead of just four. It’s cheaper to purchase them at half price now, than to wait and pay full price for them when you need them.