Ever hear or even use the phrase, “I’m a broke college student?” Well, it didn’t come from nowhere. College students are notoriously known for being “broke” or “poor,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Many of us have been told multiple times by our parents to learn to save money as often as possible. As easy as it may seem, it takes quite a bit of self-discipline and daily conditioning.
For starters, did you know that the University of Akron has a Student Support Resource page? The information and resources on this page range from Student Life, Student Services, Money Matters, and Registrar.
The first step to saving money is taking advantage of free resources. Along with making a budget and checking it twice:
Under Money Matters, the university suggests a site that offers free financial advice for students. UA has joined with the nonprofit CashCourse to give students free, non-commercial, financial decision-making tools online. This site can help students with budgeting, using credit cards, paying for college, and avoiding identity theft. CashCourse is a personal finance tool that can help you build real-life-ready financial skills.
Along with CashCourse, the university offers a free budgeting excel spreadsheet file to help you budget your finances. A friend of mine who manages two part-time jobs pays her rent and utilities out of pocket, and as a full-time student heavily relies upon this free tool. Students can find it on their Off-Campus Student Services page.
Lastly, for those students who are app savvy, Mint Finance is a free personal financial management service. It’s a site where you can track bank, credit card, investment, loan transactions, and balances through a single medium as well as making budgets and goals. Who knew a non-finance major could become money savvy?
Planning ahead can lead to free fun:
For many students, Netflix is the go-to and if you’re even more willing to get out of your bed, Red Box. But have you ever considered seeing any of the free movies that air at the Student Union? Or the free student admission we receive to support our men and women Zips teams? Have you ever checked out the events that are posted on OrgSync?
Giving back pays off in the long run:
Many of us college students are continuously looking for ways to build our resumes and have an edge amongst the 30,000 students that attend The University of Akron. Volunteering here at The University of Akron ranges from being an Orientation Leader, a Check-In volunteer for international students, and taking advantage of an alternative spring break. ServeAkron is a campus organization that helps bring students and volunteering opportunities together. They are the link between volunteer opportunities and agencies both on and off campus for UA students. According to an article published on Fortune.com about including volunteering on your resume, “Sometimes, experience outside your field can be included to demonstrate commitment and character. David Bertorello, president of mortgage brokerage BTS Lending, puts on his resume his long-time volunteer work for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, because it’s a cause that’s close to his heart.”
Working smarter rather than harder will save you thousands:
We have all heard about the importance of getting high scores, maintaining above a 3.0, and “getting good grades,” but what does this really mean? Getting to know your advisor and making a good impression with your professors can lead to scholarships and grants your senior year of college. Along with recommendations of your performance that are vital post graduation, these are miniscule things that tend to get lost amongst the bustle of maintaining grades. We often forget the relationships that we develop with students and how beneficial cradling them can pay off in the long run. An employer once told me, “it’s not what you know or who you know, but who knows you” and I can never seem to get this out of my mind. Work smarter by maintaining a network and keeping your future in mind.
Get personal with the UA Career Center:
When was the last time that you visited the Career Center located within the Student Union? Did you know that you can get free assistance with researching jobs, critiquing your resume and cover letter, experience a mock interview, and prepare to shadow jobs within your field that you never knew existed? Many students progress through their undergrad without realizing that there is a resource like this located within the heart of campus. Don’t be that senior who had no idea a free resource like this existed, it may be too late.
These five notes are just a pocket full. For further advice, take advantage of these pointers and reach out to these free resources. You never know what could happen next and how much more you can save than you already are.