Handling money at college is a huge responsibility. To save you from learning
the hard way, we asked these students from Trinity International University
in Deerfield, Illinois, for their best advice.
1. Don't go out every night.
From Jessica: "Last year we went to Dunkin' Donuts
and Denny's all the time, and the movie theater, and that all adds up.
But I'm not going out as much as I used to. I still socialize as much,
but I hang out with friends in the dorm or go downtown to just walk around.
There's plenty of stuff to do on a tight budget."
2. Share textbooks with a classmate—and shop smart.
From Daniel: "I'm fortunate to be here on a soccer scholarship, so money hasn't
been too big of a problem. But I still had to buy books. The thing to do
with books is, if you're in a class with someone you know, you can split
the books with them. That's always good. And there are a ton of places
on the Internet to get books for cheap. Also, around universities, used book
sales are pretty common. Those help a lot."
3. Prioritize the essentials.
From Noelle: "What I learned last year was to prioritize what I use my money on so I
don't run out. Sometimes I'd do a lot of activities, and then I'd
have to do my laundry, and I'd be like, 'OK, somebody help me out
with some quarters.' So just make sure you have enough for an emergency
or something you really need."
4. Tithe first, and trust God.
From Meloney: "Give your tithes and offerings first, and trust that God will provide.
He's helped me pay for school—I got scholarships, my grant money went
up, my mom got a better job to help pay tuition, and I got a good job, too.
It all worked out so I won't have to spend extra hours at my job, and
I'll have time to study."
5. Live simply.
From Jason: "I've learned the value of living simply and not buying into the idea
that I need everything my heart desires. Part of this was being forced into
it, because I didn't have as much money as I did at home. But I've
also been thinking through the Word and how Jesus emphasized the great temptation
of money. Instead of thinking about material things, I try to focus on the
value of relationships."
6. Work for it.
From Leah: "I worked for a year after high school to save money, and that's how
I earned most of what I'll need for this year. Knowing it's my
money and not somebody else's makes me want to be really careful how
I spend it."
7. Don't waste money—or time.
From Alberto: "Don't do too much social stuff. Spend more time studying, working and
saving up for school, not going out with friends. That's how you waste
the money right there. I did that last year, and I kept running out of money.
Then I'd borrow from my friends so I could keep going out. I'm
going to try not to do that this year."