College Finance 101: How to make it to graduation without student debt

College Life 101

  • Sign-Up for a Personal Finance Class. While it might seem like economics are only for Economics majors, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you take charge of your financial education now, you will be in a better position to meet your financial responsibilities after graduation.
  • Manage Your Time. When you are in high school your time is managed pretty well by the adults around you, but college is different. When you’re finally on your own it can be difficult to know where to start and how to prioritize your responsibilities. It is critical that you learn how to properly manage your time for maximum efficiency.

    Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts, suggests the following tips to help take control of your schedule and your time:
    • Block Out Time. Your classes are selected and scheduled – great. Now realistically identify how much time outside class will be required to complete homework and projects – and then round up to be safe! Use a paper planner or online calendar to identify when (and maybe even where) in your weekly schedule you will study. Utilize long intervals between classes to review your notes or get started on projects while on campus to save time and take advantage of available resources. Block out time for non-school related activities as well, including laundry and housekeeping. Don’t forget to factor in social time, your job and any extracurricular activities.
    • Know Your Strengths. Identify when you are most productive. Trying to force yourself to function in a time when your body is not receptive is a recipe for disaster. If mornings are your best time, get up early to study instead of staying up late. If you’re a night owl, don’t schedule early classes. Learn your own schedule and work around it. The results will be transformational.
    • Keep a Time Journal for Two Weeks. Many of us lose time where we least expect it. It seeps out of our days, swallowed up by Facebook or Real Housewives of Wherever. Keeping a time journal daily for two weeks as you go about your normal routine will prove very informative. By keeping the journal as you go, you will learn how long it takes to walk to class, eat lunch, and where you’re spending valuable time on activities that aren’t so important. There are some great time tracking apps available that can make this process much easier. If you prefer using a pen and paper, here is a free template that you can print off.

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