Money Moves for Your First Week (or two)

The first week or two of college can be pretty busy. Classes are about to start and being in a new place can make you feel alone. No matter what's going on, you are still in charge of managing your finances the right way, so making good money moves should be one of your priorities.

Taking advantage of all the ways you can save money is key. Here are a few ways:

Student activities
The first couple of weeks is full of activities and opportunities for free food and merchandise from student clubs and organizations. You’ll get to meet people and eat with no expense. This is also a good way to network and find your tribe.

Many schools have bulletin boards or even campus Facebook pages where students are trading and selling books. This is a good way to get the book you need for a reasonable price. You’ll also find out where you can sell your book after the class is over. Although renting textbooks from places like can save money, you may fare better going to those campus specific pages first.

Seek out additional income opportunities
If finding additional income is on the agenda and you don’t qualify for work study, there are always opportunities to make extra income on and around campus. Look out for flyers for additional help needed in the cafeteria or bookstore. You’d be surprised how quickly these jobs are filled. Additionally, find out about RA positions now so you’ll know what you need to do next semester or your second year.

Scholarships? Yes!
Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean the scholarship search should end. There are scholarships offered all throughout the year. The key is knowing where they are, the requirements and dates. Make a calendar to keep yourself on track. You can also go speak to a financial aid counselor who should be able to help you with this.

Putting yourself on a budget is one of the best things you can do. Money can disappear just as easily as it appears. Be prudent in your spending and learn how to budget your expenses so you will always be prepared for incidentals without having to call home.

Keep these money moves in mind your first couple of weeks and you will start to become comfortable with living away from home. It’s time to adult responsibly. Good luck!