Sunday, March 9, 2008

Top 10 Financial/Self-improvement Tips for College Students

This article was written mainly for students, but everyone can read it, you might find some good tips for yourself, too. Let us begin.

Starting studies is a crucial step in our lives. You finish high school, fill out application forms to colleges and universities, think of it as happy times, etc. All that drama and anticipation makes you forget how hard it will be and how uneasy the changes are. There will be no more tasty moms meals always ready and waiting for you to devour, no, there will be no more warm bed, clean house and delicious grandma's cookies sprinkled with poppy seeds. (Well unless she's so kind and sends you some, yummy!) College is time for you to become more self-dependant and that is not too easy. You won't have enough cash for anything and you'll spend every buck you lay your hands on. Don't worry i do not want to startle you, just follow these steps and it'll be much easier to become a richest kid in dorm!

  • Avoid credit cards at any cost! Seriously, they are evil. As a student you get only enough money to pay for your studies, dorm and food. But you're young and you need to have fun, you need some more cash. But usually this happens in spending frenzy and the beginning of all financial problems. Sad but true. You're an adult already so you think it's about time to get that credit card. What can go wrong, you think.. Well, you get the feeling of power and can buy things you need now and can give money back later, especially with all those nice offers banks offer for students. Well this is one of the biggest mistakes you could ever do. You already become dependant. You get credit card debt and it's growing! Think about it. No job, no job experience, no recommendations, nothing. Now, let me stress that again, DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD!!! (Or a little fluffy monster will bite you!)
  • Avoid your parents! Sure that sounds like fun, but i do not mean avoid-avoid them, but avoid them as much as you can. A packet of goodies from mommy is not what you want. You have to separate yourself from them and start to get more self-dependant. You must learn to do your own laundry, ironing, making some food (at least simple recipes), etc. It will definitely help in your later life. You don't think of coming back home after finishing college or university, do you? Of course you don't. You want to live your own life and live it good. And frequent calls to and from your parents, frequent visiting, etc. does not help you do that. I mean do not separate from your family, by no means. Just see them less often, make that coming back home or a call a little precious. It'll be more important for both you and your parents.
  • Avoid eating out and partying! Don't judge me already, i just started. I don't mean cut the partying and eating out, no of course not. Just don't do it too often. It kills your cash faster than you think. The night out with friends can cost you a fortune. You're self handed and can make your own food. If you're too lazy to do even that, at least in cafeteria or canteen. They got reasonable prices for a student and their nutrition isn't that bad. Take an advantage of that. Or else... Yeah, I'm sure you've heard about such students that only party hard, drink beer all day long and there is only fun and games for them. Sure, that sounds fun, but there is other side of that. I'm even more sure you heard how students spend their month's cash in 2 weeks and then eat carrots, cabbages and bread just to stay alive. Now, that's nutrition! For the love of God, don't be one of them. They only spend their cash to be poor and miserable. Don't be like that, be a cool rich kid. You'll like it.
  • Find yourself a job connected with your studies! This really is a win-win situation. You learn in collage all that stuff, but you really have no idea how to use all that information. Getting a little of that practice is worth gold really. Many students go and work in local fast food restaurant or some other store, just to make a quick buck, but that is an awful mistake they do. Yes, you earn some cash, which can be used (see step below), but come on, you are just wasting your potential. Let's say you're studying programming, then why in the world would you go to work in some crap-hole? I say, you better look for a job as programmers assistant at least or the young programmer or something. That job experience you get is priceless. If you happen to find a job as student go ahead and stay there for at least a couple of years, because employers tend to look for people with at least 2 years of job experience. Stay at that work even if they pay you peanuts, that's extra cash and you need it! When you graduate you will already have a plus that will open more doors for you to find a perfect job. You'll be more attractive to employers than most of the students. You just can't lose.
  • Start saving and investing your money! Oh, there could be anything better than that! You already started working, you earn a little cash, don't waste it! Better save it and use it properly! Open a savings account and transfer a desired amount of your wage there on a monthly or even weekly basis. Don't put all of it there, no, you're young, you just need to have a little fun. Let yourself have a drink after a week of hard work and studying. Do not make a habit of having a beer or something every evening after work, no. That is a huge mistake and it leads to alcoholism. Avoid that. Let me get back to the point. Save some portion of your income in a savings account and after a semester you'll be surprised how much money you've got there. Saving is good, but yet there is a better idea than that. Start investing that money! You're young, you got a job, you can go ahead and invest that money! It can be very rewarding and teaches you the discipline early! Let your money work for you! You have to set up your portfolio in order to do this. There are alternative investment methods of course. Read those articles up for more detail. If you are scared of losing money, you should at least invest in bonds as they are safe and helps you beat inflation. The earlier you begin investing your money, the faster you can get to financial freedom, which should be one of your main goals in life.
  • Meet new people! Meeting new people is very beneficial. College is the place where there are so many young and beautiful minds. You should definitely take your time to find similar-minded people and make yourself some new friends. They may be your buddies to drink beer with in the weekends, but they might be your future business partners. You should build as many connection as you can, as they are very very important. Your friend can help you anytime. Two heads are always better than one, that's why you should make a good friend as soon as possible. You may share common interests, eat together, spend some free time, go to gym, etc. It'll really help you do all those new things you are not used to, like laundry or something.
  • Avoid fake people! This part is crucial! Yes, meeting new people is great, but there always are so many fakers, that pretend to be your friend or just be friendly with you, they always smile, but they only want to drain you like a sponge and run away. Don't be fooled by those people. This often happens especially when you already got a job, start saving your cash and such. Talks go fast. The gossip is always there. Try to ignore all the gossip and possibly test your friends. Nothing too crazy, just some little test to see what kind of people they really are. This helps you choose people you communicate with wisely. You do not want to start your own business or some kind of project with the wrong person. You might be left on ice. Try to avoid impostors and only be friends with real and sincere people.
  • Start doing some kind of sport! I can't stress this enough! You come to a new place. There are so many temptations to go out, eat unhealthy, drink alcohol, even do drugs. But you must learn to just say NO. It's easier to avoid such activities if you take up a sport of some kind. Really. Probably one of the best choices would be bodybuilding. I'm sure there is a gym in your college or at least somewhere around it. It's really good to go there, let off your steam, sweat a little, have a good shower, refresh and become more energetic and healthy than ever! Don't like bodybuilding, then go ahead and play basketball, football, tennis, whatever you like! Just do something active! It not only helps you look and feel better, it also helps your brain. It's always easier to think after a good workout. Sports leads to healthy eating, reducing bad habits such as smoking or drinking. What can be better? Your health is the most important thing there is. Do not mess with it inhaling some smoke or fumes. Help yourself to grow physically and therefor mentally. It's all connected.
  • Start reading books! This is probably one of a few most important tips there could be. Reading is essential! If you don't already do that, it should be about time you did. People usually underestimate the power of reading. Reading helps you improve your brain activity tremendously! It improves your social skills, as you learn quite a lot of new things and get ideas from books, it improves your writing skills, as you see everything written correctly and memorise the words. Books always makes you think, thus widening your imagination, which is one useful tool! Imagination and creativity helps you everywhere. In your job, in your social life, in creating a business plan worth million! You should find time every evening to read for at least an hour. If you are an average reader and read one hour a day, you'll approximately read 1 book a month. That's 10 - 12 books a year. Not that bad. When was the last time you read? Have you read that many books in your whole life? In 10 years you would have read approximately 50 books. After that many books you would be more well-read than most of the population! Literacy is one thing you can't go wrong with.
  • Keep studying! Well all these things may sound a little overwhelming. I tell you to get a job, do this and do that, but all this should be only done After Classes. Attend all the classes you've taken every day. Write everything you need to write, read everything you need to read, do anything you need to do for your classes and grades will come by themselves. Your key goal at right this moment is to get an education. And that you should follow! Getting a education is of key importance. Studies are for You, not for professors or employers. It is for your own personal growth and for you to find your path. Once you found that, don't stop there. After a few years after graduation go ahead and start studying again for a higher degree. It's beneficial. The educational system allows you to study your all life. Take advantage of that! The more your brain works, the smarter you become, the better you live, i might say! Extra degrees and diplomas from various courses and such help you increase your salary by quite a bit. Invest in your future. Don't be a fool, stay in school!
Well, there you have it. That is quite a read there. Hope these tips helped you at least a little. Thank you for reading and have a good day.

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