Money and College: Tips and Tricks

By: Shantelle Taylor

I know that I am not the only college student with money problems. I still like to believe that I am good with my money, but you learn as you continue to live your total college experience that making and saving money is not as easy as it used to be. Of course, you get a job and make money that way, but sometimes that is not enough.

Let’s begin with the obvious, SCHOLARSHIPS! It can be difficult to obtain a scholarship through school if you do not have the grades.  You should never let that be your defeat for attempting to get them. There are scholarships for literally everything on this planet. What it takes to find them is patience and research.  For example, you can receive scholarships for being a vegetarian, being left-handed, being African or African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Indian. You can get a scholarship for having red hair, or even just being short. (Funny story, I attempted to get the “little peoples”scholarship but unfortunately I was 2 inches too tall.)  This is where your research comes into play. If you don’t know what to look for, thoroughly research. The internet has a plethora of information; use it to your advantage.

So, what if you are already in school and you have to wait to get scholarships until next year? Well, you can cut out some of the middle man. If you are on campus and do not have a full kitchen, use your meal points wisely! Eat when you’re hungry, not just because you have “free money” because your “free money” will run out. Also, spend your meal points on your friends and family for emergencies to a minimum.  When you’re left with eight points left and two months of school, you might be stuck, especially if your family is not capable of helping you out. If you’re off campus like me, try not to eat out so much. When you do your grocery shopping buy in bulks! Sam’s Club and Costco or great places to buy big amounts of food for a decent amount of money.  You can buy lots of protein and keep it in your freezer or your substitutions.

For my girls who are worried about your hair, I learned to DIY (Do It Yourself). Personally, I have always been intrigued by people who can do hair. During those hours I would spend at the salon, I would study the stylist and pick up on things they would do to other people’s hair. Of course, that’s just the bare minimum . YouTube is your best friend! Anything you wish to learn how to do can most likely be found on YouTube. The good thing about YouTube is that there are hundreds of videos on just about anything and everything you might wish to learn about. Make up tutorials, hairs tricks, hair color tutorials, nail tutorials you name it, it’s there. I know so many people on campus who not only do their own hair like myself, but also will discount and do their friends hair as well. I’m sure they would love your loyalty, so do not hesitate to ask because for them that’s a way for them to make money too. If you have any talents that you can make and create to sell, do it! There are plenty of festivals that give you opportunities to sell your creations.  If you feel you would rather do it yourself, just sell to your close friends and family. You never know how it could impact your life in the future.

In my opinion, simplicity is key. My favorite money saving tip goes back to your childhood days. Start yourself a piggy bank. I have a huge bottle that I throw any leftover change from my day into and start my collection. It’s easy and extremely effective. Save it for a major vacation for extra spending money or save it up and never touch it. Don’t fear throwing bills in there either. It’s easy to forget you have things other than change in it so if you need a quick five bucks for food because you’re on the run, you will always have it. I saved mine up for a year my senior year of high school. For graduation, I took a trip to Hawaii with my school marching band and decided to exchange my change for cash and ended up with and over 70 dollars in extra spending money! Of course, I had help from my parents but that’s more money in my pocket to spend as I please.  It’s all about discipline.

You just have to do it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s