With the new free time that summer brings, some students may be tempted to take part in some recreation they don’t have time for during the school year. These activities may cost money, and many students are not accustomed to managing their finances on their own. In order to have a fun, yet frugal, summer, I’m offering several tips to help students responsibly manage their money.
Avoid the plastic
Having a credit card as a student can be great for those emergency purchases, but it can also be tempting to overspend since the money isn’t directly in-hand. Many studies show that people are willing to spend more when they use a card than with cash because you don’t actually see the physical money leave your possession. One tip is to not buy anything that you couldn’t pay for in cash. This prevents the “I’ll pay it off later” mentality and prevents students from getting in over their heads in debt. Debit cards are a good alternative because they link directly into a bank account, so students can never spend more money than they have. This also makes it easy to monitor and track spending and to ensure that all charges are accurate.
Keep it local
Opening a bank account at a local branch can make it easier to manage student finances. Students who keep accounts at banks farther away can sometimes find it difficult to resolve immediate issues or easily make changes to their accounts. I personally enjoy having the option of actually walking into a local branch to talk with a representative if I need to resolve any problems with my account. If your student wishes to move his or her account to a local bank, you can check out the available options at admissions.
Have fun for free
During the academic year, there are always performances, athletic events, comedians, or events sponsored by student organizations going on. However, summer also brings a fair share of events and activities to keep students busy while they are maintaining a budget. Over the summer, there is often free food on campus so students can grab a snack and hang out. There are also a variety of trips hosted by the Outdoor Adventure Program to help students get out and enjoy the great weather. To see a full listing of the events this summer, you can look over the calendar of events.
In addition to University-sponsored events and activities, there are plenty of places for students to go exploring on their own. Some of my favorite summer memories are getting a group of my friends together to go hiking, biking, or swimming somewhere in the Keweenaw. Kayaking, climbing, or just driving around are other favorite activities for students in the summer months. The Keweenaw Visitor’s Bureau maintains a list with many of the places to go exploring.
Work hard, play hard
Getting a job is probably the best way to ease the financial burden of college and a great way to ensure financial security while in college. Not to mention, students can gain awesome experience, have a nice addition to their résumés, and experience the responsibility of having a job if they haven’t already. Michigan Tech Career Services offers a service called HuskyJOBS with a list of local and campus jobs available for students. There is also a list of other options for student employment. I can honestly say that I’ve had many amazing experiences and opportunities in the positions I’ve held during my time at Michigan Tech. Whether it was developing my professionalism, getting to interact with University administrators, or meeting many new and awesome people, I grew a lot from the jobs I had on campus.