College is more than just grades and hanging out with friends. The value of a college education is all about learning and preparing for the competitive job marketplace. However, college students can easily find excuses to not make any efforts that could potentially contribute to future success. By preparing yourself early on in college, you will not only have more money in your pocket during college, but also be better prepared for the real world once you leave. Here are some tips to get you started:
Manage Your Budget Wisely
As they adjust to living in a new environment away from home, most students find it really hard to effectively budget their spending. Additionally, students who do set a budget plan typically take more than a month to do so. Clearly, then, it is important to be organized and to have a smart budget strategy in order to efficiently save money in college. The earlier you learn to budget, the less likely your money will be to escape you. When you first start allocating your budget for each expense, try to be as strict as possible. However, impulse purchases and unnecessary spending happen, so just try to slow the pace of another expense if you accidentally over spend on certain items.
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Other common money saving tips in college include recording expenses, taking public transportation over cabs, trying not to dine out too frequently and renting cheap textbooksBuilding smart spending habits and learning budgeting basics will help you form a strong foundation for money management.
Start Networking Early
College is the ideal time to start networking for your future career. A misconception about networking is that only seniors and recent graduates network. However, it is never too early to start making new connections. Unfortunately, many college students do not take advantage of the networking resources offered by their career centers. The career center is always a great resource to connect you with professionals from a wide variety of industries because of its established links with past students, who can then put you in contact with potential employers. Moreover, acquaintances who you meet via networking can be very productive by providing you with a diversity of knowledge and backgrounds than people with whom you are already familiar.
Before you start meeting people, you need to be well prepared and make yourself worth getting to know. Networking is a mutual gathering and sharing of ideas. If you consider yourself a valuable resource then everyone can get value from meeting with you. Do not just lead with self-interest; you are also a great resource of information, ideas and connection for others. So, attend every networking event or career fair if possible. Even if you are not currently searching for a job or internship, networking never hurts.
Social networking has becoming increasingly important in addition to face-to-face networking when it comes to job searching. For example, LinkedIn is a fantastic professional networking platform that connects you with people who share your interests. Also, more and more companies are using LinkedIn to find prospective candidates. The beauty of a social networking platform is that it provides you an easier way to connect you with a potential employer or a direct referral. An internal referral gives you a higher chance of obtaining the job offer. Keep in mind that even if there are no current openings available, these connections can possibly help you in the future. So, keep in touch with the people you meet and do not miss out on any networking opportunities.
Excel at Excel
Computer skills are fundamental to many businesses. Microsoft Excel is one of the most useful, powerful and utilized product in the workforce. Being proficient in Excel is a basic qualification on most job postings because Excel can be used for so many different ways. Almost every industry employs Excel in everyday activities such as data tracking and report generation. No matter what company or position you are going for, there’s a good chance you’ll be working with Excel documents. If your university offers a course or workshops in Excel training, just to take it.
Author Bio: This post is contributed by Skyo, an online site that helps college students save money with cheap textbooks and flexible rental options.