If you're about to start high school or are already in it and trying to figure out how to avoid going broke, check out these 20 money-saving tips.
1. Work: Maintain a real or virtual job
Even working part-time is preferable to being unemployed. If possible, try to secure a job working on-campus before your freshman year, and then do whatever it takes to keep that job throughout college. Those four years of work experience will keep some money coming in (this is not a loan) and will look great on your post-college resume.
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2. Budget: This is a huge chunk of life
You'll be in big trouble if you don't learn how to budget money before you graduate from college. It's easy. Just figure out how much money is coming in and going out (bills & living expenses or needs). Then, to avoid going bankrupt, use the wonders of budgeting.
3. Avoid dating
At the end of the day, pursuing lovers is not only time consuming, but also costly. It's so easy to spend money in order to improve your chances, isn't it? Make education and financial management your top priorities.
4. Invest: The day before you leave for college, invest some money
Put it somewhere you won't be able to touch it until after your expected graduation date. That way, you'll earn some passive income, and regardless of how much money you have in your wallet, that investment means you're technically not broke.
5. Launch a web-based business
Get some friends together, combine your skills, team up with some computer science students, and launch a web company that provides any type of simple web-based service or product. Create a lean, tech-savvy start-up from your dorm rooms!
6. Save: Go into “save money” mode
Since you've decided to learn how to budget, commit to saving at least 20% of your monthly income. It could go into a “pay off loans” investment or account, or it could go into a savings account so you have cash on hand for emergencies or asset purchases.
7. Spend Wisely: You must protect your money
Learn it as soon as possible. The sooner you learn this life principle, the less time you will have to spend moping around in debt or being broke. See the distinction between a want and a need. Recognize why you are tempted to spend money. Spending a lot of money on one small, superficial, and pointless purchase at a time is a bad idea.
8. Lower Loan Principles: Be strategic about it
If you take out a loan, make sure you read the fine print. Know what you're getting yourself into and use all realistic options available to you to reduce your principle while in school. Is interest accumulating if you do not pay off the principle? If this is the case, even if it does not appear to be so, it is eroding your monthly income.
9. Do not use debit or credit cards
There are two schools of thought in this situation. One advocate believes that college students should use debit to build credit (there are banking institutions on many college campuses now). The other person thinks it's a bad idea. Debit cards make it far too easy to spend money, and credit can be extremely dangerous! Debit is simple to avoid, and a college student's credit needs should be almost non-existent.
10. Avoid paying fees
Fees are literally everywhere you look, and if you don't know about them, you'll have to pay them. Many can be avoided simply by being aware of their existence. Make it a habit to be aware of your surroundings and avoid those that aren't necessary. Over the course of four years, all of these small fees strewn about can quickly add up.
11. Plant food
Grow food if you're one of those students who rents a house and has some yard space! Seeds are inexpensive, and gardening is simple, so it's essentially free food.
12. Receive freebies
Speaking of free, take advantage of all the opportunities for freebies that exist in college.
13. Get discounts
Students get a lot of discounts on a variety of items, but you have to be aware of them in order to take advantage of them. Look for them. In college, learn to shop on a budget!
14. Submit an application for free money
Apply for free student money for books, classes, tuition, or anything else. You'd be surprised how much money is given away to college students each year. The key is to learn about them and then put in the effort to apply. Every little bit counts.
15. Socialize with other broke people
Stick with those who share your desire to save money and live a frugal lifestyle.
16. Rely on your family and friends
If you are fortunate enough to have family and friends on whom you can rely, use them. Everyone knows you're trying to better yourself and advance in life, so when they offer assistance, accept it.
17. Barter College is an excellent time to begin learning how to leverage what you have
When the opportunity to barter presents itself, take advantage of it.
18. Use of Mobile Devices
Keep track of how much your smartphone and mobile habits are costing you and keep them hidden!
19. Pay your bills on time
Pay your bills on time because it can lead to lower rates, a better payment history, better credit, and other benefits.
20. Utilize the Internet
Create an account on one of the major freelancing websites. While in college, become an affiliate blogger. There are countless opportunities to earn money online in your spare time!
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