A Savings Survival Guide for High School Seniors
High school graduation is an extremely exciting time for many high school students. It celebrates both the end of your high school journey, and the beginning of your new future as a young adult. However, this can also be a time of fear and worry for many students, as the path after high school may be filled with many costs you are not prepared for. So, what can you do to ensure you are prepared for real world costs after high school? The answer may not be as scary as you think! Let’s talk about how to create a savings plan during your senior year, and help you get prepared for whatever path you choose after you hand back that cap and gown.
First thing’s first; if you don’t already have a part time job, get one!
It may sound obvious, but we can’t begin to talk about a savings plan without a source of income. Many students fall into the misconception that a job in unnecessary or unattainable until after he/she has completed high school, or even post-secondary. However, this is not the case. Many companies offer flexible, part-time job opportunities for students so you can begin saving up. Not sure how to find the right job for you? Speak with your school counselor about how to select the right job for you, setting up your resume, and how to rock the interview. You may also search local job opportunities in your area on the following job search engines.
List all of your sources of income.
Write down all the different sources of income you currently have coming in and their individual amounts. This includes income from your job, scholarships, awards and grants, financial aid through student loans, any prior savings, and help from your parent or guardian. Having an accurate sense of how much income you have coming in allows you to outline how much money you are spending, if it is sustainable, and how to properly save going forward.
Plan out your future expenses and costs.
On a separate sheet of paper, list your expenses. If you are attending post-secondary after high school, this includes costs such as tuition fees, books and supplies, living expenses, as well as housing costs, groceries etc. if you are planning on moving away from home. Don’t forget things such as your car insurance, the cost of gas, and entertainment costs. This combined with your total income will reveal if you are spending too much, where you may need to cut back on spending, and the right amount you can save while still having enough money for your necessities. You made need to adjust your lifestyle choices if you notice your expenses outweigh your income.
Open a savings account.
Determine how much money you will need for your cost of living. Once this has been decided, plan for any of your remaining income to go into a separate savings account each month. You may now book an appointment at your bank to speak with a representative about opening up a savings account. If your job allows for direct deposit, you may be able to have a specific amount of money automatically transferred into your savings account each month. If you do not, be sure to set aside the determined amount each month, and immediately put it into your savings account after depositing your cheque. Even if it doesn’t initially seem like a lot of money, in time it will begin to add up!
Cut back on things you don’t need.
Try limiting yourself on unessential activities. Activities such as going to the movies, eating out, and shopping at the mall can all add up very quickly, and should be a way of treating yourself every once in a while, instead of a regular occurrence. If you find you eat fast food about five times a week, try limiting yourself to about once or twice a week. Put all the money you would have spent on fast food into your savings account, you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save! Click the link below for more quick student saving tips!