College is hard work, there are plenty of exams and assignments to hand in and you’re navigating a whole new social world too. But as tricky as it can feel at times, this is actually a relatively carefree time in your life. You don’t yet have the responsibility of running a home or caring for a family, you don’t have a career that you need to maintain, as long as your work is getting done and you’re taking care of your health you’re pretty much set. This makes it a good opportunity to invest time into your future, and your future finances in particular. Here are some ways you can go about it.
Start a side hustle
College is a great place to start a side hustle. Sure, it’s a busy time in your life where you’re studying and socialising a lot, but there are times where you do get time to yourself too and you can really utilise this. Instead of sitting in your dorm room watching repeats on Netflix or scrolling through social media when you’re bored, why not set up something that you can work on over the next few years? This could be a blog, a Youtube channel or a dorm room business. These kinds of flexible side hustles can be worked around anything else you’re doing, and over a couple of years you can be really well established. By the time you leave, you already have a stream of income in place that you can work around any post graduate job that you get.
Invest the money you make
Once you start making money from your side hustle (or any other income you manage to earn) put it straight into a savings account. Live frugally and enjoy the poor student lifestyle while you can, and use extra funds to put away and save for the future. By the time you leave you could have a good chunk of money that will come in really useful as you head into independent adulthood. Better still, look into investing and how to maximise your investment’s return where it can continue to grow over many years. Once you leave college and move out into your own home your bills and expenses will likely be higher and you might struggle to save as easily as you can right now. So make the most of this, even if its just a few dollars a week it will add up over the course of the time you’re at college
Finally, use your time in college to gain experience in what you want to do later on. If you’re studying some kind of health degree you could do voluntary work in a hospital, if it’s in psychology or social sciences you could see if there are any volunteer positions with the police, courts or probation services. Even an hour a week can be really beneficial, and is something that will help you to stand out from the crowd when you come to apply for postgraduate jobs when you leave. These sorts of things are easily worked into your schedule at college but many students overlook just how beneficial they can be.