Updated on 09.16.14

Money Management Tips For College Students

Trent Hamm

Here’s what you shouldn’t do. When I was in college, I used my student loans to finance my lifestyle. I worked at a decent paying job ($9 an hour at a job related to my major was great), but that wasn’t enough – I needed more. So I took out student loans, even though scholarships covered most of my tuition and housing expenses for college. Even worse, I didn’t really understand the value of the college education I was getting – I basically completed a major, decided it wasn’t for me, completed a completely different major, and took enough classes for some minors along the way. After I finally graduated after six years, I had accumulated about $35,000 in student loan debt. Including interest, I’ve paid about $32,000 in loan payments so far and I’ve still got about $16,000 left to go.

What did I learn from this disaster that college students can use today? There are a lot of students out there entering college and taking out student loans to pay for it. The money they’re spending, in the form of loans, far exceeds the money they’re taking in. I know all about it – I was doing this very thing just a handful of years ago. I made some incredibly stupid mistakes along the way, and it takes a lot of hindsight to see the things I could-have-should-have done.

If I had it to do all over again – if I were a college student today with a big pile of student loans building up and not much income – here’s exactly what I would do.

Take the studies seriously.
The cost of college is tremendous. During your years there, not only are you investing the cost of tuition, but you’re also investing the loss of income that you might have made doing something else, like becoming an electrician’s apprentice or starting your own business. If you’re paying $10,000 for your tuition and other expenses and you’re giving up $20,000 in income, that’s $30,000 that each year in college is costing you. That’s more than $500 every week.

What’s the best way to undermine that strong investment? To flunk out. To fail a class, causing you to stay in school longer. Even a poor GPA undermines that investment – you reduce the value of the degree by reducing your opportunities right after college if you’re showing off a low GPA.

Hit the books. If it’s a choice between a side job and the books, choose the books every time. If you need to borrow more money because of it, borrow that money. Don’t undermine the value of your big investment just to save a little bit of money.

Take advantage of the other opportunities, too.
College isn’t just about hitting the books and partying. There are tons of opportunities on a college campus to start building your career and resume, which will improve your opportunities and salary when you leave school (further improving the value of your student loan investment). That’s not to say that the experience should preclude fun, but that you should put effort into joining groups – and spending social time with those groups – that either build leadership skills or coincide well with the topics that you’re studying.

You’re also better off getting strongly involved in a small number of activities than getting weakly involved in a lot of activities. Try out a lot of things at first, find the ones that click for you, then get strongly involved with those. Take on responsibilities with those groups and work towards leadership positions later on. You’ll build valuable relationships with people, learn new things about your areas of interest and about yourself, and build up your future resume, too. Here are some more tips for maximizing the secondary value of the college experience.

You’re a college student – live as poor as you can.
Don’t spend your time dressing exceptionally well – there’ll be plenty of time for that later on. Instead, do most of your clothes shopping at Goodwill and at thrift stores. Don’t think you’re above it – look at your checkbook and realize you’re a person with a negative income – the exact person who should be utilizing such resources.

It’s fine to have a few clothes for special situations, but don’t spend money on a great wardrobe. The typical college campus is teeming with free entertainment – check the campus newspaper for ideas instead of spending money to have fun. Take advantage of the cheap food opportunities, too – for a while, I had a “one meal a day” meal plan in dining services and I’d eat a big meal then, then just snack the rest of the day on whatever was available.

In a nutshell, realize that each time you spend money in college, you’re costing your future, especially when you’re surrounded by opportunities for the most inexpensive living you’ll have in your adult life. Need more specifics than that? Here’s a collection of money management tips for college students.

Use a credit card only to buy books. Pay the bill immediately.
Don’t listen to people who insist that you have a credit card. Research a good one, then use it only once a semester to buy your textbooks. Put that credit card somewhere safe, then pay off the entire bill as soon as it comes in. Never use the card for anything else.

This simple plan gives you the benefits that you can get from credit card use in college (mostly building credit) without the dangerous drawbacks of building high-interest debt that you’ll have trouble paying off.

Seek a job (or other experiences) related to your major, even for lower pay.
If you’re going to get a job in college (most people do), look for a part-time job that’s related to your major, even if it means sacrificing pay. A job that really matches well with your studies is golden on your resume when you graduate – if you already have some years of experience working with this material, then you look a lot better than most people coming out of school.

If you don’t know where to begin, the first place to stop is at your departmental office. Ask around for job opportunities within the major – research work, paperwork, whatever’s available. If you can’t find anything there, look for industries near the college that might relate to what you’re doing and look there. Make the effort to make a personal appearance, as it shows that you’re serious about this – anyone can pick up the phone and dial.

Minimize your debt.
If none of the above apply to a decision, make the choice that results in the lowest debt when you graduate. You’re in college to build your future. Don’t sacrifice that future by piling on debt without improving your post-graduation opportunities.

In a nutshell, maximize the value of what you’re paying for, and minimize the level of debt. You’re surrounded by valuable opportunities in college – only by grabbing them by the horns can you really maximize the value of your college education.

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  1. Michelle says:

    I found that the best pickings at Goodwill/Salvation Army are usually at the ones closest to colleges, particularly private schools. Go at the end of the semester and kids have unloaded a ton of barely-used items they just got tired of.

  2. Tina says:

    After I finally graduated after six years, I had accumulated about $35,000 in student loan debt. Including interest, I’ve paid about $32,000 in loan payments so far and I’ve still got about $16,000 left to go.

    Whoa! What are the interest rates on those students? Also, wow. I can’t believe you took out loans just for the sake of having more money! That makes me feel a lot better about my loans, which at least went towards tuition. I was the only person I knew who actually would put their work-study money on their college account, instead of just cashing it; to me, FinAid money was always for school, not just an extra boost.

  3. Sia says:

    This was an awesome article. I’m going to college next year, though fortunately in my country we don’t have tuition fees and get some money when studying from the government (and loans to cover the rest). I’ll keep it all in mind when I move out. It’s kind of scary how some college kids party away, though, since I’ve lived close to a university campus for four years.

  4. Carrie says:

    That sounds so familiar to me. I graduated in 7 years after drastically changing my major in college. A lot of my $38000 in student loan debt went to tuition and living expenses, but I also took a couple vacations that I shouldn’t have including a canoeing trip to Wisconsin and a trip to Florida. The advice I give most to high school students I know is to spend your first year or two at a community college, especially if you are not certain about what you want to do. I wish I had done that not just because of the financial aspect, but also because I wasn’t really prepared for the workload at college.

  5. Louie says:

    im glad you wrote this…and to tina, dont think that is so astonishing….im currently in my sophomore year and already 31 thousand dollars in student loan debt.
    there is a very precarious situation that plagues middle class families when college is concerned, my parents do not make enough money to fund any of my education, but make far too much for me to be considered for a “decent” amount of financial aide. The result is, i either bear the burden and swallow it, or accept the fact that college is only available to moderately well to do people.
    im content with my investment, i have a very conscientious mind for my money and have a pretty decent plan set up to pay down my loans upon graduation.
    and i would say i am a model for what trent’s post outlines and i agree that it works very well.
    one thing he should mention is the concept of skipping class, if you break down how much you pay per hour etc, for most universities it works out that you are skipping out on 75-200 paid for that one hour of class room contact.

  6. Megan says:

    In addition to Goodwill, the clearance section of some clothing stores have great selection for very low prices. The best times to go seem to be mid February for winter clothes and mid August for summer clothes. Retailers are beginning to switch to clothing for the next season, so the previous season goes on sale, but there’s still a decent selection in all sizes.

  7. Jeff says:

    I took out loans to pay for tuition and school costs and worked at a campus job during school. Most on campus jobs are usually very good about working around your class, exam and study schedule. I have also found that many will allow you to study during down time while at work. I also worked with a friend as a DJ fir parties and weddings (who owned the equipment so there was no cost to me). These were usually 4-6 hour jobs and i usually made about $40 per hour. They also provided free meals and beer, so I worked and got a night out. These were on Friday or Saturday nights, so I really didn’t have to eat into any study time.

  8. Tyler says:

    I lived extremely frugally for my college years and graduated with about $40,000 in student loan debt.
    I managed to not only pay this off, but to accumulate a net worth of ~$250K in just 3 years after graduating. It took a ot of sacrifice, some good luck and some hard work but I did it!
    One thing that you point out that I should have done differently is to get more experience in my major. I graduated with honors and little experience and found that employers would rather have someone with experience than a 4.0!
    So, to all of you in college – take that for what it’s worth.
    – Tyler

  9. akb says:

    I’d also mention funding a Roth IRA if possible. I think the stuff that you mentioned is more important than a Roth IRA at that stage of life. However, those extra years of compounding and the very low tax bracket that most college students are in makes the Roth attractive.

    Parents wishing to teach their kids the value of retirement savings and getting them into the habit of saving for retirement might want to match contributions.

    Of course not every college student will be in a position will be in a position to do this, but many are.

  10. squawkfox says:

    Hi Trent,
    I enjoyed this article as I graduated from school with 17K in student debt. The feeling was terrible. Getting out of student debt is very possible if one sets their mind to it. I wrote (hopefully an encouraging story) about how I paid off my 17K student debt in six months.

  11. I cannot agree more with this post. Too many young people (myself included) see college as FINALLY breaking away from Mom and Dad and getting to live life to the fullest – Meaning the fullest wardrobe, fullest DVD collection, and fullest credit card balance.

    I did not get a credit card while I was in college because I was terrified of them. I did, however, get myself into some trouble by cashing all of the Savings Bonds my grandmother had given me over my whole lifetime and using that money for “stuff”.

    I didn’t go out and buy brand new expensive clothes, but I did, for instance, take the meal plan for granted. I had a full 21 meals-per-week plan, but I also had a dorm with a kitchenette and preferred to cook things myself.

    All that money spent on groceries could have gone towards much more important things! When I left school, I had hundreds of meals left on my card. I PAID for those meals, but I never used them!

    Now, I’m paying for them via payments on my student loans.

    Another mistake I made was going to college in the first place. I went not because I wanted to go, but because I thought I HAD to go. I was only there for one semester, after a tragic experience had me on my way home. At that time, I was able to realize that I didnt even want the career that my degree would have prepared me for.

    Now, I’m paying for it. Again, via payments on my student loans.

    This article should be printed and distributed to highschool seniors everywhere!

  12. SJean says:

    It is so difficult for someone with a consistently negative income to really understand that it isn’t normal to spend more than you take in, and to really “get” the value of what they are doing.

    I wish that this information actually could be useful to more students, but even those that DO read it, few would take it to hear. :(

  13. Ashley says:

    I am a 20 year old college student. I have one class left until I obtain my AA and now I’m wondering whether or not it’s worth going for my BA. I’ve been working since I was 14 and I’ve made some good connections along the way. Right now I’m a contract worker at a well known aerospace company (not going to name names), I make $37.00/hr and I would love to learn how to invest in real estate (it’s an obsession). While I do live on my own I save quite a bit and weighing the options between spending another $10,000 (at the minimum) on school or saving that money and investing it has left me wondering what to do. I realize a college education is important, but so are the three years of professional experience in significant positions that I’ve already got. Any opinions would be very much appreciated. Thanks for the help.

  14. Stephanie says:

    I never even got a credit card until after I graduated from college. As for loans, I had to take out quite a large amount for tuition/room/board; none of that money went into a personal account, it went directly to the college. Of course, I graduated with more than $70k in student loans, which I’m aggressively paying down. But I agree, you don’t have to spend a lot when you’re in college. There are so many free or discounted opportunities out there…though it seems like now that I’ve graduated, I actually have the time to take advantage of those opportunities!

  15. Ryan S says:

    Living poor as a college student is essential :)

    The longer you sustain that lifestyle after college the better off you’ll be in the long run.

  16. Jon says:

    Although credit cards are dangerous, I am currently a college senior and use a credit card for just about all my purchases. I pay it off in full every month. By picking a good cash back card (i have a citi card) I have already made upwards of 90 bucks back in less than a year in cash. I also use an ING savings account and made over 150 bucks last year on that. If you are responsible, credit cards can be used to your advantage.

  17. Ryan S says:

    @ Ashley – it sounds like you’re liking what you’re doing! Play to your strengths. Keep school on the table, but it sounds like you’re doing great as it is.

    And I’d like to say one thing generally~

    college partying = badness
    beer = expensive
    college alcoholism = lower GPA or flunking out

    In other words, don’t be stupid.

  18. Laura says:

    As an addition to Ryan S-

    #1 college rule: Don’t binge drink

    -building up a tolerance just makes alcohol more expensive
    -all those extra calories require even more time at the gym (membership=$) to burn off
    -you could (and probably will) do something very stupid while trashed (usually costing $$)

    Now that I’m in my 5th year of school, I’ve realized only other binge drinkers care that you’re not drinking with them. Now this isn’t to say alcohol is bad, just that it’s overconsumption is. I highly recommend gaining an appreciation for wine, beer, and spirits, thus allowing you to speak intelligently about them in social situations where professional contacts are often made. But there’s a large difference between picking a fine German Riesling and doing a keg stand over some Natty Lite.

  19. Lisa says:

    Ashley, education is never a waste–especially when paired with your amazing work experience. As you move up in your career, you’ll be competing against people with similar experience but more advanced degrees, so don’t give up yet. If you accepted a position with your company, would they pay for you to get your BA?

  20. Deborah says:

    I went 7 years to get my BA (I paid for the first in cash), and then did 2 and a half of graduate school to get my MLS. This all added up to a little $87,000 in student loans that I’m about 14 months into repaying. Like many people, I took every penny that the school offered me in loans, even if it was above and beyond what my actual tuition and books were. I’m slowly upping my payments. The education was worth every penny – both the pennies that I should have saved but spent and the ones that I spent wisely. I learned more by messing up my finances in college (student credit cards are EVIL) than I probably would have otherwise. Not that everyone needs to do that – that’s just what it took to get my attention.

  21. Kat says:

    One thing I would point out is make sure your future employers even care about your GPA in the first place. Knowing I don’t ever need a grad degree and that my portfolio was more important than my GPA, I chose to work a bit more in my job(field related) and a bit less on getting the 4.0. I got scholarships based on my design talent, not grades. I still have a ton(way more than anyone posted here) in student loans, but all of that went to my education, not to live. Working paid for food, housing, and supplies.

    I would also say, if you don’t need a car while in college, don’t have one. Saves you a ton of money.

    Also if you want, take longer to graduate so you can work more during the year and have less debt. The older you get, the more the government gives you in aid, since you won’t be tied to your parents income.

  22. matt says:

    While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I discovered that students who have less than a great amount of savings, and are participating in a federal work study program were accepted into the food stamp program in new york state. Yes, this means a lot of paperwork, but these programs are for people with “negative incomes” too.

  23. Kal says:

    Thanks for the post Trent! I do have a question though. I’m a student but employed part-time by the University I’m enrolled at. They offer a Tax Sheltered Annuity program to all employees (even student hourlies like myself). Should I invest some money (the minimum is $20/month) in this program or should I save this “extra” part to pay off my student loans in the future?

  24. Anitra says:

    I totally followed all this advice in college… but my husband made every wrong move along the way. Once we each graduated, he had 4x as much debt as I did, but with a lower GPA and no jobs or social groups relevant to his career path.

    We’re paying down the debt at a decent pace now, but he still regrets that he spent so much time working during his college years (in a non-career related job) with so little to show for it.

  25. AlainOfArc says:

    I think a lot of students get a university education that results in no job prospects simply because there’s a lot of pressure on high school students to go to college/university. I sure know that’s why I went, and a lot of people from my generation feel the same. Now I’m stuck with $30,000 in student loans and a degree that gets me to the same spot as every other university graduate.

    If you’re going to school just for the sake of going to school, you’re not putting the effort into your courses, and you don’t have a clear goal for after school, wait. Give yourself time to find out what your goals are. Spending four years and thousands of dollars on a program you’re not committed to is far worse than working at Taco Bell for an extra year or two until you have a clear goal.

  26. HebsFarm says:

    When my high school friends got part-time jobs, they were suddenly able to afford a bunch of teenage crap that I coveted. I asked if I could get a job too. The great advice from my father was, you need to keep your grades up! The scholarship money you will garner from having excellent scores will far outweigh the measly bucks you would pick up at a part-time job. If you absolutely MUST have the teenage crap (8 track tapes and hair accessories, as I recall) I will buy it for you, he said. He was so right… I my Dad…

  27. HebsFarm says:

    I LOVE my Dad…

  28. Working Dollar says:

    Trent declares, “When I was in college, I used my student loans to finance my lifestyle.”

    I did the same thing, but to compound the issue, I discovered a wall in the registrar office that had credit card applications hanging on it. I applied for three cards, got all three and ran them up, living on that debt and the student loans. I wrote an article titled <7 Things for High School Graduates and New College Students to Consider in an attempt to warn high school graduates and college students to avoid such things.

  29. Tina says:

    @Louie: I’m not astonished at the amount (I have over $60,000 in student loans myself), but at the fact that it sounds like he took them out for no real reason at all – his tuition and expenses were all mostly covered. It just seems very wasteful. I’m also surprised that six years later, he’s paid $32,000, but still has $16,000 to go out of an original $35,000… it seems like the interest rates must be fairly high, as student loans go.

  30. Ohhhhh how I wish I had followed some of this advice when I was in college! At the time, I thought I was doing everything right: accepted work study jobs, worked additional jobs on the side to make more money, lived frugally (I thought, at the time). But I also took out student loans in addition to my grants, and didn’t use the money wisely. Sure, a good proportion of it went to tuition, food (meaning, beer) and rent, but an equal portion just flowed through my life without any barriers at all.

    I also took out credit cards, and little by little those grew to levels where I actually NEEDED the additional loan money just to pay my regular school bills AND the monthly payments on my credit.

    Hindsight is 20/20, they say. I’m a college advisor now, and I regularly counsel students to take out as little as they possibly can in loans, to work as many jobs as they can to keep their sanity, and to live frugally NOW so they won’t be saddled with debt later (like my $50K hanging over my head). Maybe I’ll just direct my students to this blog post instead and save myself some breath!

  31. Melissa says:

    While I had full tuition scholarship, I took out a $5,500 loan for spending money while I studied abroad – I’m so glad that I did. I had a wonderful time and I know that the experience has made me a better (and more employable) person. I graduated last May and paid off the last of my loan today.

    I’ve never been a spender, though, and I knew that having the burden of debt wouldn’t sit easy with me – plus I have no credit card debt. Some people can take out loans to subsidize their lifestyles – but often, the kind of people who do that aren’t prepared to pay them off in a timely fashion.

    It helps that I still subsist on oatmeal and whatever food we have at work, too. :)

  32. My Two Cents says:

    Definitely a great topic to discuss. More and more I see my friends getting into debt and I’m working my way forward.

    I think that not being educated on how to properly manage credit cards can lead to a lot of problems for college students, especially those who have relied on their parents for so much. I think making a budget and financial goals is a good helper to stay out of debt during college when most people are learning relatively little.

  33. MossySF says:

    I took a different route — got a 4 year degree in 6 years because that gave me time to work more hours to pay for college without having to get student loans. If you can’t juggle both school & work at the same time, perhaps taking longer is the better option that graduating with tens of thousands in debts you will be paying off for decades.

  34. plonkee says:

    You know, I didn’t take much of the advice that Trent is offering when I was a student.

    I took out all the student loans that I could (more than I needed) and spent the excess on two amazing long trips overseas.

    I didn’t have a job at all in term time, and only twice had a summer job – neither of these were in any way related to my career.

    I spent a lot of money relative to my budget on alcohol. An awful lot. And I didn’t join a single on campus organisation.

    Despite doing all these things, I had an amazing time, ended up with a great job that I love, and would do them all again in a heartbeat.

  35. Katie says:

    I took the middle road, my parents contributed to the 1st 2 years of my education, and I paid for the rest. I’ve got $30,000 in student loan debt, $15,000 from one year, and $15,000 from the other few (I took summer courses so their money didn’t last the WHOLE 2 years, more like 1 and some). Even though my ONE year abroad (out of 4) doubled my student loan debt, I don’t regret it and consider the experiences I gained (both work-related, and related to my career, as well as personal) to be worth much more than the $15,000.

    I had a decent GPA (graduated iwth honors, and a perfect 4.0 in my concentration, in fact) but also worked in career-related jobs from my sophomore year onwards. I found that the work experience was most helpful, and encourage every college student to get an internship each semester for the last 2 years of school if not more. Mine were all paid, which took some work to find, but many are unpaid. You can also work as little or as much as you want. I needed the $ so I worked MWF and took classes T Th… some of my friends only worked 4-5 hours a week, and it still looked the same on a resume so do what suits you!

  36. Jake says:

    Great post Trent! I think your advice is greatly needed by college students. I work in higher education as a student affairs professional, and I try to educate students about the downfalls of spending too much time and money during their college experience.
    Two of your points that I’d like to expand on are eating cheaply and getting involved. First, getting involved is the #1 key to staying in school and graduating on time. Studies have shown that involvement also leads to better jobs. All colleges and universities (at least in the US) have tons of free activities and programs that encourage and build leadership skills, assist with networking, and provide leadership opportunities that graduate schools and businesses are looking for.
    Second, its easy to eat cheap at college…especially if you attend events and get involved. Free food can be found every day of the week, even at small colleges, you just have to look for it. As a graduate student I could find at least 5 events a week to attend that where beneficial to me and my studies, and also offered free food.
    Additionally, I think it is important to note that graduating in 4 or 5 years is really important. College students should make sure they are talking with their advisors and professors on a regular basis to make sure they are on the right track…even if they change majors. Students should also utilize the Career Center or Career Services office at their college or university…they can help you get a job, an internship or practicum that will make you more marketable after graduation.

    Going to class is obviously the most important thing about college, but there are other things to remember that can not only save you time and money, but will make you more prepared to enter the job market once you graduate.

  37. Miss Noodle says:

    One expense I would highly support — travel internationally! I went overseas multiple times as an undergrad and one of the best things i ever did. It’s much harder to get the chance down the road, and there are a ton of great school options. Depending on the schools and programs, studying at a foreign university can actually be cheaper than your u.s. university. And lots of times you can take your financial aid with you. I spent 4 months in south america — changed everything for me!

  38. Mrs. Micah says:

    One thing I learned in college is that it’s actually fashionable to buy all your clothes at rummage sales or Goodwill. The key is not spending too much there when you go with your friends because everything looks so cheap.

  39. Kate says:

    In addition to what others have said, another pointer is to buy as many books as you can used. Not used at the college bookstore because the mark-up there is high. Use Amazon, Alibris.com or Abebooks.com (and if anyone knows of other, better sources, please post them). Make sure to ask the professor if the newest edition is essential–many times an older, cheaper edition will suffice. Other cheaper possibilities: check a copy out of the library, ask a professor if they have a copy you can use, or take the class with a friend and share the books. Depending on the major, the amount of money that can be saved on books over the years is amazing.

  40. Marta says:

    Great post Trent! I wish I could do my college education over again and in fact I’m currently trying to do that. After working in a profession that seems ill-suited towards my future goals and current interests, I’m switching gears and taking undergraduate psychology classes at night to fulfill requirements for psych grad school.

    My three pieces of advice:
    1. Consider studying abroad or enrolling directly in a foreign university. I transferred from a small liberal arts college to a foreign university 2 years into my degree and saved almost $40,000.

    2. Double or even triple major. That way, you’ll have more options should you decide to change career paths or go back to grad school, and you’ll get more bang for your buck.

    3. Don’t beat yourself up for racking up college loans, transferring, or even switching majors. It’s all part of the learning process and regret won’t change any past decisions.

  41. SJean says:

    I agree with plonkee–i made some ‘mistakes’ but I pay my little student loan each month with NO regrets.

    Also, mossy’s suggestion of taking longer has value, but once i did graduate, my salary went far above what i could earn as a student, and it really just made more sense to get it done. do what works for you

  42. Nicole says:

    I could not agree more with this blog article. I went to college with about $3k in my bank account (that I had worked hard to save all through HS) and blew it pretty much in the first year AND accumulated credit card debt. (Which Im still paying for in addition to my lovely student loans.) What an idiot, right? Wrong…I’m pretty intelligent, I’d say, I just made a poor choice. And the reasoning behind it, I believe, is because in my family growing up we never talked about money. I didnt understand credit cards until I was in over my head with debt. I didnt understand interest rates/finance charges til even further into the mess. If I HAD understood them, I probably would have done things different. All parents out there: talk to your kids about $$. I am due to be a mom any day now and that is one thing that will be taught early on (the value and COST of the $).

    As for focusing is college and going in general: I sort of messed around my first year because I just wasnt ready. I was certainly intelligent enough, just mentally wasnt prepared for a solid career path and the coursework (I didnt really know much about the world even though I had lived abroad– I just had no clue what I was really interested in). I dont think I will push my kids to go right out of HS. Take some time, make your money work for you and go when you are good and ready to focus 100% on what it is you hope to achieve. As for the loans…re-read the last line. Its a ton of money to owe back whether its 10k or 100K. Make sure its for the right reasons and the right concentration. Although I dont regret my major (it was awesomely fulfilling), I do wish I had made my money work more for me by majoring in something that would prepare me more for business. (I was a sociology major…and loved every second and it was CHALLENGING because I made it so!) ANd thats my last point– you get out of college/your major/life what you put into it. Give 100% and you will reap the benefits no matter what you do!

  43. Small Biz Tech Talk Blog says:

    This financial management is good advice for anyone at any stage in life, I think. Each time you start something new is another chance to start it the right way and be diligent about careful planning and proper management. I think many of these tips could be followed by someone starting his/her own business. Regardless, a plan is essential to success, and every new business endeavor needs to be looked at as a careful investment that will pay off in the future if planned properly.

  44. Mang says:

    Nice article. I’m in a co-operative education program, which means that I study 4 months and then work 4 months continuously until I graduate. This way I can cover the costs of tuition, residence, and books, leaving me without debt. I also use my credit card to buy books because I get 1% cash back, which is an added bonus.

  45. S K says:

    very good thing to ponder upon.Even I was a quite spendthrift in my school days. In my opinion one must strike a balance between financial needs and finances availability.College resembles- to live life to the fullest like being fashionable,having your own vehicle etc. It is fun but at the same time you should realize the essence of money and respect it.Do enjoy the college life but spend wisely.

  46. buy to let says:

    I wish that people would realise how dangerous gas burning appliances can be.
    A yearly gas safety inspection could save lives.

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