College is all about preparing you for life, and becoming established in the identity that God has called you into. As a student at Grand Canyon University, I learned a whole lot when it came to being financially responsible, and want to share some of these things with you! By taking simple steps like these ones listed below you can help prevent unnecessary stress, and get ahead of the financial game as a young adult.
1. Start a checking and savings account.Giphy
You never understand the importance of having back up money until you are in college, away from family, and need to buy books, food, and do something fun off campus that does not involve eating samples at Costco because they are free. Having a checking and savings account when entering into college is not only imperative in a financial crunch, but can be incredibly helpful as you learn how to budget your way through your bachelor's degree.
2. If you are responsible, apply for a credit card.Giphy
This suggestion is not for the faint at heart, and certainly is not something to go to crazy about. A credit card is not something that should be used without thought, however, it can be incredibly helpful to start building credit especially as a college student.
Using your credit card for small things like groceries and gas, and always making sure your payments are on time will not only help you in times where you might need a little help (i.e you need cereal, not tickets to the Bahamas for spring break) but will look impressive as you seek to buy a car or an apartment post-college career.
Most places require a credit background check, and with a spotless record, you will have much better success in post-college financial endeavors. Most banks offer credit card options to their customers. Keep in mind credit cards are not the only way to build credit, but this is always a good suggestion for those who can control their spending habits and want a simple way to build their credit.
3. Get familiar with Groupon.Giphy
50% off movie tickets, group events, and cash back?? Yes, please!! I don't know how I did not get acquainted with this lifesaver sooner so let me just tell you how great it feels to take advantage of an opportunity that is marked to less than a quarter of its original price. Whether it is dinner, cash back, or a zoo tickets, Groupon is full of surprises so make sure you check them out!
4. Buying in bulk never made me happier- thanks Costco!Giphy
Going back to the bulk - Costco is a life saver. Having a Costco card means that you can buy an abundance of shampoo, cleaning supplies and groceries in bulk, and let me tell you how quickly that can make a difference in your wallet. Going to college meant that I learned real quick how to be financially aware, and how exciting it is to buy a bundle of toothpaste for half the price of what you would see at any other store. Welcome to adulthood.
5. Get a financial statement from your university so you can plan out your financial aid and scholarships accordingly.Giphy
Last but NOT least; be aware of your financial needs before you start your Fall semester!! Most colleges have academic counselors that get you financially and academically set for your term. As a college student, it is YOUR responsibility to reach out to your University and become aware of what you are going to need to pay. Education is not cheap, but well worth the cost.
There are a plethora of outside academic scholarships that can be found online, as well as job institutions that financially support their employee's education. Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity you come across and make sure you have a financial statement to go by. There is nothing worse than coming up to the start of the semester and not knowing how you are going to pay for school, so make sure you are putting forth the effort as a young adult to balance financial responsibility.
By taking simple steps like these ones, you will be amazed at how far you get ahead in the financial game when it comes to your college experience. College is supposed to be about new opportunities, education, growth, and experiencing some of the most cherished years of young adulthood! Make sure you are financially ahead of the game so that you do not have to worry about money when you could be thinking about what your next big adventure is. Lopes up!