Courtesy of guest poster: Tyishia Goldsberry-Smith
My parents taught me many things, but how to budget wasn’t one of them. With that being said, while attending college I squandered away a lot of money. My parents could not afford to pay for my school, so I had to make sure I maintained good grades so I could continue to receive scholarship money.
My refund checks from school ranged between 7-12 grand a semester. Now multiply that by three times a year, not to mention I also held a part time job. Now this is where my budgeting falls into place. The school I was going to at the time, would give you your refund check a week before school starts. I would use that money to pay my rent for the next 6 months. The rest would be pocket money. If my half of the rent was $500.00 a month, and I paid that in advance every 6 months, that would make it $3,000.00 every six months, equaling up to 6 grand a year. I was getting up to $36,000 a year just to go to school. What was I doing with the other $30,000 a year I had left?
Good question… I have no clue. I wasn’t budgeting or investing in anything like I should have, I have nothing to show for it. I hustled myself into a bunch of money and splurged because I could. What I have learned after wasting about 16 months of money is that when your refund money comes, it is totally yours. As a college student you should invest in your future, and what comes next? GO HOME?! Not ME!
Things to look into are CD’s, stock market, property, storage units. There is plenty of property being foreclosed on, especially around college campuses. If you buy a piece of property for 5k, flip it and rent it out to other college students you can double or triple your money. Another thing I learned is historical property can be purchased, and you can get a tax credit on it. You can easily use your refund check money from school and flip houses and let them sit until you graduate and then sell them. By the time you graduate you can easily be sitting on at least 100k if not more just to think all of this is being done while you are a full time student in college.
Maximize on your college funding by not only getting good grades, but also by applying for departmental scholarships to. Financial aid will give a student what they can, but if you apply for departmental scholarships too you can get a scholarship to pay for your books, dorm, etc. anything over that comes directly to you. Then you can use that money to play it smart.
No college student should be starving and struggling! If I would have known then what I know now, I would have started my business a long time ago, as well as a few other things. When my daughter starts college many, many years from now, I plan on teaching her the same thing on how to budget and maximize on her college experience. If my daughter is like me at all I know she will want to travel, and that’s expensive! So why not teach your child to save and become a good a investor while going to college?
What are some tips you would share on finances, education, and investing?