NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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You Graduated! Planning now to be a College Student

You Graduated!  Planning now to be a College Student


                Congratulations!  You successfully graduated from high school and while you have already registered for your college of choice and have signed an apartment lease or a dorm contract; there are some money management habits you can begin now.  Try starting any of these habits now so you are ready to save important dollars and reduce you college debt

                - Make a budget. Estimate your monthly income and expenses.

                -  Live like a college student. The reality is that you're a college student. So live like one—don't spend money you don't have yet. Though it may feel difficult, living like a student now will place you in a better financial situation when you graduate. 

                Don't abuse credit. Be responsible with credit cards. Only charge what you can truly afford to pay off each month and make sure it fits into your budget. If you are easily tempted to overuse, leave the credit card at home and take only the cash you can afford to spend.

                Save something – anything.   While it may seem impossible to save, try anyway, even if it's only $10 a week. Place the money in a savings account that's not attached to your ATM card so it is not as easily accessible.

                Skip impulse buying. One of the most important money saving tips is not to buy on impulse. Wait a few days and see if you still need the item.

                Keep score. Make sure you pay your bills on time, every time. While this may seem obvious, paying on time is a big factor in having a good credit score.

                Be a cheapskate. Many colleges offer lots of free or cheap activities on campus which will provide the opportunity to socialize without a lot of expense.

                Lots of places will give you a discount simply for being a student. Look for places that offer savings when you show your student I.D.

                Use the used. Look online or check with your college bookstore for used textbooks for classes, which can save you some money. Selling back your used books at the end of the semester could score you some extra cash. Check online or with your campus bookstore for buy-back details.

                Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.             Also limit the number of times you eat out monthly.

                Walk, use public transportation or ride a bike instead of having a car.

                Sell what you no longer use or need. There are plenty of stores and web sites, like Poshmark and Craigslist or a local Facebook Buy and Sell page where you can sell your used clothing, furniture or tech items.

                 Wait to get a pet until after college – a pet can become very expensive. Not only do you have another mouth to feed, but veterinary bills are costly. If you love animals, there are plenty of shelters that need volunteers.

                Make your own coffee. While coffee shops are convenient, they charge hefty prices that really add up over time.

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