I'm here to save YOU money. My name is Kristina and I want to give you the most up-to-date saving tips and ideas.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Prepare for College

1) Get a Job: Be sure for the summer before heading off to college, if you do not have one already, to get a job!! Making money and saving it is one of the most important things for you to focus on this summer. Also, if you are able to work while in college and are moving to the area. Then start a search for job around there. 

2) Set up a Savings Account: Having a separate account for your college savings is a great way of ensuring you are saving, as long as you are transferring the money in there and keeping it in there. Be sure to set up 'online banking' or have a banking book to keep track of your transactions as well as putting your savings into the separate accounts with each pay cheque.

3)  Gather Expenses: Put together all the expenses you will need for school. Look at your tuition, your book / supplies costs, new clothing, furniture, groceries, rent...etc. Put together what you will need for the year (or at least the first semester). Once you have all this marked down (be sure to round up a little cause things always come up that you didnt think about), you can make a plan for your summer spending and saving. In one file calculate how much of each pay cheque you should be putting away and any other expenses you may be getting. In another file make a spending plan, be aware of the major events happening in the summer and calculate whether you can afford them or not. If these events are a must - do, then you will have to look at another area to cut back on, such as eating out or movies/ bowling with friends. Making a weekly budget is the easiest. its not too long to go without money if you have spend it and its short enough to remember and calculate costs. 

4) Do Not use Credit Cards: They can get you trapped into thinking you have extra money. Its not true! You will have to pay it off and you'll have to do that soon, its not like a student loan where they let you wait until you are done. No you have to make minimum payments right away and the interest is brutal! In the end you are wasting money. So unless you are a smart young one with your money and you got the money to put back onto it right away, stay away from these!

5) Learn How to Cook and do Groceries: Cut down on eating out now and when you go off to school! Learning how to cook means that you wont have to feel like you need to eat out. Its much cheaper staying in to eat or bringing a lunch. Make a note of sites you find and favor them so that you can have places to refer to. Start cooking at home before you head off to college. If you find recipes and ideas you like keep them in a Recipe File. Ask mom or dad to help you being the process of learning. For groceries, I see so many students walk into a grocery store and not look at sales. They will grab the most expensive things and the most pointless things. Be a wise shopper, look at the flyers and only get what you need. Remember that during this time it is worth the sacrifice!! Remember if you don't need it, don't get it! 

6) Inform Friends & Family of Savings Plan: Friends and family can hold you accountable. They will know that you should not spend money, therefore you will have someone looking out for you. They will make sure to keep the cost low and will help you to stay on track. You are also informing them not to make extravagant plans that you cannot afford. By informing them you can work together to plan things that saving money for everyone. In the end everyone wins, who doesn't like saving money? 

7) Be Ready for School a Month Early: Get into the site, check out the books and supplies you need. Look into student housing and start looking at rooms. Start scoping out deals on furniture, take a look at thrift stores and ask family if they are getting rid of anything you may need. You may also want to take a brief look at the material you will be learning in school. Which classes are you taking? What can you read to get your brain going and in that school mode? If you have the chance to get involved in something that will benefit towards your school during the summer than go for it!! And don't forget you could always travel to campus for a day or two to get the feel for where things are. Where your classes will be, get to know the grounds. If you know someone there, ask them to show you around and share tips with you that they have learned. 

8) Take Advantage of Public Transportation:  Don't drive if you don't have to. Gas and a car is expensive so if you can find your way around that or have others offer than take up that offer to save a little more this summer. During the school year if you don't NEED a car, don't have one. Most colleges/ universities will have a bus system and many will have discounted or even free rides. You can head up there for a day or two to get the hang of using the transportation in the area of the school. Find out where the grocery stores are, the banks...etc. Get bus schedules. Think of all that insurance and gas money you'll save!! 

9) Be Wise with your Loans: This IS NOT free money! The goal here is to go to school and do well. Going to post secondary school is a privilege, don't abuse it. The money you borrow will have to be pay off. And if you think about it once you are done school, you won't be entirely happy about that. You'll want to get a career, start a family, travel, do the things grown up do. So save what you can. If you have left over loan money, keep in there so that you do not have to pay it off later. I said this earlier and I will say it again... "If you don't need it, don't get it" & "It is worth the sacrifice". 

10) Be Active: Start a workout regime now, this will get you feeling better and happier. Also if you are now you will be on track once school starts.  You wont have to 'start working out' cause you already have been. Once you start school, you just need to fit in your already mad routine into your schedule. Look into the school facilities to see if they have a gym/ pool... etc. If not, learn how to do some exercises at home and get a couple dumbbells/ exercise ball for home that you can bring with you to your new living space during college. 

I Hope you enjoyed those 10 Tips!! I've been thinking about the best ones to mark down for you!! Its that time of year when all the students are thinking about the fall semester. And for the ones who are starting for the first time, its the time of year when they know where they'll be going and start wonder and worry. I really want to get you started and help you cause I know all about the worry and stress!! If you learn to be wise with your money, your organization skills, you will know how to be on top and stay on top!! :) 

Well have a good day!! 

With Love: