The start of summer is the last time that students want to think about university and their future, but the time is right to start building a plan. With school getting more expensive and good jobs hard to get when you graduate it's crucial to put some strategies in place.
Here are my top strategies to get you through university with money in your pocket and a great job when you get out. That's better than into a basement with bills to pay!
Get a Job That Will Help You.
When I was in university I got a job at a local Merrill Lynch office and worked nearly 35 hours a week. It gave me crucial spending money and got my foot in the door when I need to start my career when I graduated. I took the time to write all of my securities courses while I was there and worked hard to get referrals from my peers.
Don't Use Your Line of Credit or Student Loans.
Do everything you can to come out of school without any debt. Work as much as you can, apply for every grant and scholarship out there, eat Kraft dinner or noodles every night, do whatever you can do to minimize your debt. There are tons of grants out there for everyone so search how to apply to ALL of them. Pick up some hours working on campus or for an affiliated organization. Money now means being debt free later.
Not only will this limit what fun-time funds you'll have when you're out but it'll be a chain and ball for a ton of years after school. The average Canadian student takes 10 years to pay back their average $27,000 in student debts!
Get a Money Mentor.
I had a mentor when I was in school who really helped and guided me. It's easy to get absorbed into student mentality. All the parties, dating and hooliganism can get you to fall of the wagon. Keeping monthly chats with your mentor will keep you motivated to get good grades, take the correct classes, and know that one day you'll be at the other end of the tunnel.
Don't Take Your Credit Card to the Bar.
That's all. Don't do it.
Start to Save Early.
Take at least 10 per cent of any dollar you make or get from Nana and Papa and start putting it into a TFSA. Pretend it is a rent cheque and you can't stop it ever. Set it up at another bank so you don't even see it on your online banking screen. You can afford to pay $100 for your smart phone to send dirty texts so you can afford the same a month for a house, retirement or something financially meaningful.
Get a student discount card and save on everything you can, movies, computers, transit, even some restaurants offer discounts I used mine until I was in my 30s! Even if you don't see a sign ask if students get a deal. You'll save big amounts on travel, electronics and clothing. Don't forget to ask if they have a deal everywhere you spend!
Read Every Money Book You can.
I have tons more strategies in my new book From Middle Class to Millionaire.
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