In high school, your stress might be as much about finances as it is about exams. If you haven’t been able to save money during the summer months or the school year, then you might wonder how you’re going to make a go of it at college. Thankfully, there are many ways to make it happen, even if you don’t want to rely on mom and dad – here’s how.

Apply for Scholarships

Finance your education in undergrad at with a scholarship. There are a lot of options available to post-secondary students to help take the pressure off your shoulders so that you can get the education to pursue a fulfilling career.

Scholarships are available in a range of study areas and for various programs, including a four-year degree. Apply for and increase your chances of winning a scholarship by applying for several and being persistent.

Put Yourself on a Budget

Financial plans aren’t only for your parents. Creating a budget will keep you from growing debt as a student. The key is to offset educational expenses with income streams and savings.

Being smart with your money involves tracking monthly purchases, both school-related and personal ones. With time, it will become second-nature, and you can feel good about avoiding the stress of student debt.

Seek Employment

Set yourself up for a healthy financial future by working full-time in the summertime and part-time during the school year, if possible. Begin your job search early on to find one that provides the pay you deserve. You might even find a job related to your field of study that can provide valuable work experience in addition to an income.

Customize both your resume and cover letter for each job that you apply for. While this process takes longer than sending one standard application for each vacancy, it will show your attention to detail and that you have put an effort in.

Reduce Your Spending

Differentiating between wants and needs is a valuable way to cut your spending down, so you have more money in the bank to put toward tuition and other school-related expenses. While some things are needs, many more are wants, and it’s those wants that can trigger financial stress.

If you aren’t sure if something is a need or a want, consider whether you can get through the school year without it. While textbooks are a need, a new shirt is likely a want. Also, whenever possible, avoid impulse purchases that you might later regret.

Taking Control Now

College is a rewarding time that prepares you for a future career and builds your sense of finance independence. Managing your finances during this time is a valuable skill that you will use for the rest of your life, and it is one that you can start to get better at right now.

As you start your college years, have a budget in place and continue to educate yourself about ways to save money. By the time you graduate, you will have a good understanding of how to balance saving and spending well.

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