Well as many of my readers know, from 2012 to now I have chosen to have a job while in school.
In highschool I played libero on our volleyball team and I worked all four years of highschool.
In college I gained a desk job on campus to compliment my server job in my hometown (1 hour & 30 minute commute I made every weekend) AND I had a side hustle.
I love being independent and maintaining an apartment, but cost of living was whooping my ass:
- $500 Rent
- $265 Car note
- $150 Car insurance
- Gas, Groceries, Miscellaneous $$$+
I paid this amount each month, and each month I barely made it. But I made it.
So if you find your situation similar to mine, even if you’re not in college
Pay Close Attention
To fit what your lifestyle needs, plan your schedule accordingly.
- If you’re not a morning person, or a parent with small children, do not register for morning classes if you do not think you will be ready on time, with breakfast by 8am sharp.
- DO NOT Schedule all your classes for two days. (All M&W or all T & Thursday) It might seem great to have 4-day weekends but all your assignments will be due at once, and 1 absence WILL set you back. Don’t mess yourself up.
Instead, plan for classes that are back to back. That way your other time can be dedicated to work.
Time is money.
- So 9AM-11AM 12PM-3PM are good hours to schedule most of your classes, AND be at work by 4, or 5.
Best Piece of Wisdom I have is to make time for You
- To avoid burn out, when possible, finish homework/class assignments while on campus. Go to your library or an empty classroom for quiet. Make school for school and home for YOU.
- Dedicate at least one hour to yourself
It is hard. You will need to be meticulous about time. Every hour will count when your day begins and ends at about 9 every day.
Get a student planner and live by it. You won’t be able to remember everything between school, work, and making a social life.
Save money while you’re in college. I know you’re saying ‘that’s impossible,’ but it isn’t.
You will be grateful for an envelope filled with just five dollars. So as much as possible fill a container with either loose change, or ones – just save SOMETHING.
How Did I Save Money In College?
By knowing how much was due, and when, I would budget certain portions of my check and my extra income from my side hustle to boost my savings and have just enough to make the payment in full – which I always recommend.
I worked M-F on campus, and cooking when at home. School time 9am- 5pm (maybe 1 night class :/ ) weekends I drove home to work part-time as a server. That was the life I chose to pay the bills and go to school.
Word to the Wise: Do not pay ‘pieces’ of your bills. You can’t go half on rent without a roomate. And I built my credit score to 740 WHILE in college.
How to Make Money Moves
Abuse your meal plan. Load up as much food as you can, when you can, and cook at home. I loved my mom’s homemade chicken pot pie and I would make it to feed me and my roommate for about two days. I don’t eat leftovers. I don’t care who makes it.
It cost less than $10 for me to make a whole pan. Recipe here.
Day 1 I would charge people $6 for a plate, which was only a double helping, and a drink…but it tasted homemade and trust me. It sold itself.
There are a few other ways to save money in college that I talk about.
Hustle Hard and you’ll make it. You’ll be proud of yourself for it. I promise.