Accounting as a student: How to get your money in order
Everyone needs to know how to manage money, whether it’s businesses or people. By getting a career in accounting, you can become the person everyone turns to when they need their dollars and cents sorted out. If that sounds like the kind of career you want, and you’re looking for a practical way to get into accounting, Centennial College’s Business Accounting program will give you all the essential, employable skills you need over two years, including hands-on time with industry-standard software. But before you can use money skills to help others, you need to use them to help yourself, especially if you’re heading off to college for the first time. Here’s a few simple ways you can start accounting your own money and making sure your college experience doesn’t put too much stress on your wallet, thanks to advice from My Money Coach, UBC, and US News.
Budget, budget, budget
After all, that’s an accountant’s job. As a student, you’ll want to make a nice spreadsheet of a budget that lists how much money you’re making in a month, be it from a job, the school, the government, or your family, and lists your expenses, like school supplies, food, and transportation. Then, try and make sure you’re not spending more than you’re making. Take a look at your bank statements, and write down every cent that you spend, and make sure it doesn’t go over your personal limit. If you can, leave a little room for fun, because everyone deserves a bit of fun in their lives.
Only pay for what’s important
If you can really live without something, at least consider cutting it out and be realistic about what you can afford. After all, you’re in school to eventually upgrade your career and your life, so fancy purchases can wait until later. At the same time, take a look at your “needs” and make sure they’re not actually “wants.” For example, could you travel less and save money on transportation? Could you buy more groceries and cook, rather than eat at restaurants? The more you can cut out, the easier budgeting will be.
Use credit, but use it carefully
Most undergrad students have a credit card, and this isn’t a bad thing since college is a good time to start building up your credit score, which you’re going to need if you’re renting an apartment or buying a vehicle. However, if you don’t pay your credit bill off, and walk away with a ton of credit card debt, then you might as well have not had that card to begin with. So, use it, but always pay it off as soon as you can.
Make sure you’re getting all of the financial help you can
Lots of scholarship and bursary money goes unclaimed every year simply because no one applies, so make sure you’ve applied for everything you could potentially earn from Centennial College by visiting our financial aid section, where you’ll learn how to make sure you’ve applied for all the funds you could earn. You never know when you could receive a few hundred, or even a few thousand more dollars for your efforts.
When it comes to textbooks, buy used, and sell yours
Textbooks can be one of the biggest expenses in college, and if you can avoid buying them brand-new, do so. Centennial College has its own used textbook market, like many other schools, and you can find what you need there. Don’t forget to turn in your copy for cash when class is over.
By Anthony Geremia