Whether you are the parent of a soon-to-be college student or a college student yourself, you probably already know that paying for a college education isn’t easy. If you are lucky enough to make it to college and to be able to pay for it, then there are definitely some things you’ll want to do to improve your cash flow while you’re there or while your child is there!
Tip #1: Get a Part-Time Job
This first tip is good for both paying parents and young students alike. There is no simpler way to bring in extra cash than to get an easy, no-stress part-time job. Working part-time, for students, will give them the chance to earn a little money while still focusing on their studies. And, for parents, an extra job, jut a few hours a week, can really make all the difference when it comes to dealing with the extra expenses that accompany having a child in college.
There are all types of good part-time jobs out there from waiting tables to working as a cashier to summer sales positions learning what is included in a home security system and describing it to rich homeowners. These jobs may not be glorious, but they can be lucerative and provide valuable experience that will help jumpstart your career path after graduation. Working while you’re in school may even boost your GPA.
Tip #2: Monitor and then Cut Back
Another super easy way to improve cash flow is to carefully monitor your earning and spending for a week or two. Write down every single cent you spend and what you spend it on. At the end of your monitoring period, it will be easy to go back through your finances, see where you’re throwing your money away, and make adjustments that will help you to keep more money in your pocket! An easy way to do this is with budgeting software such as everydollar, which allows you plan your monthly expenditures and track transactions to make sure you’re staying on track.
Tip #3: Try For Work-Study
For the college student trying to improve cash flow, there is no better option than a work study program. Many schools offer on-campus jobs, often in your field of study, that will allow you to make some extra money without interfering with your college schedule. Plus, you can often gain valuable experience and connections through these programs.
Tip #4: Pick a Major With an ROI
Not all fields of study are created equal in terms of their value in the marketplace. Avoid choosing majors based only on your interests or strengths, as these may or may not have application in the job market. You can pursue your hobbies and passions without dropping $50k on a 4-year degree. If you’re going to be spending that much money, make sure you have a plan to monetize your diploma.
Tip #5: Choose a College You Can Afford
The single most important factor determining tuition and living cost is college choice. Most often, the institution from which you graduate does not significantly affect your ability to get good job placement in your field. Knock out your generals at a community college. If it’s close enough, see if you can live at home or rent cheap until you’re ready to transfer. If you do transfer, stay in-state if you can. Private schools or out-of-state schools will be significantly more expensive, and won’t necessarily give you better job placement or a higher salary.
As you can see, it is easy and possible to improve cash flow while you or your teen are in college. Try these tips, and watch the cash roll in!