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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Preparing for the Finances of College

Time to get out of the library and into the work force with a summer job! Love em or hate em, for those who attend, or plan to attend, University, summer jobs are basically a necessity!

It is no mystery that the cost of attending College will take more than saving your pennies, so most students turn to summer jobs in order to cut the cost of loans and tuition. This can often be difficult, especially in today’s economy, but you just need to know where to look and the steps to make this task much easier. This blog will be all about High School students preparing for the financial situation so that when it actually comes time to go off to college, it won’t seem quite as stressful.

Year-Round Jobs
High School is a busy and frustrating time for any teenager, and as you reach junior and senior year, you get the added stress of thinking about College! My personal recommendation for those in this position is to get a part-time job during the school year that will carry in through summer. School work, homework, soccer practice, band rehearsal’s, time with my friends and family, PLUS a job? This may seem impossible but there are plenty of places that will offer you a part time job with minimum hours of say 10/week. This will most likely be on weekends so you don’t need to worry about clubs and sports and it could also help you get in a schedule to help complete your homework and projects on time. You also get the added bonus of keeping the job throughout the summer and working full-time and getting up to 40 hours/week! In one summer you could make almost enough for a semester of tuition, if you start when you turn 16(or the legal age for where you live), it will help take a big chunk out of your tuition! If it is a job you enjoy doing, it will definitely be worth it.

Summer Jobs
This doesn’t always work for a lot of people and they just aren’t able to keep up with all of it during the school year, and this is totally ok! Getting a job for just the summer time is also great! A few weeks before school ends, just before exams, print off a bunch of resumes, grab a pen and head to your local mall. Below is a list of tips when applying for a summer job.

1) A+ Resume. – Proof-read your resume a few times before printing the final copy, make sure there are no spelling/grammar issues, and make sure everything is up to date and completely true.

2) Dress the part. – When handing out resumes, you don’t need to be in your Sunday best, but wearing a nice pair of jeans and a somewhat fancy top won’t hurt.

3) Go to your favourite places first. – Who doesn’t want to work in an environment that you already love? Apply to your favourite clothing stores and restaurant’s first.

4) Don’t be too picky. – There are a lot of people willing to work, and not enough jobs to fill the place so maybe you don’t want to work fast-food, but perhaps for 2 months it won’t be so bad.

5) Speak with the manager. – If the manager is in the store while you are applying, ask to speak with them. Showing that you are confident gives a great first impression!

6) Go in with a smile. – Smiling and showing that you are cheerful also creates a good first impression, especially if the job involves working with the public.

Of course there are other great ways to earn some extra cash, this could replace your summer job or it could be something extra to do on the side of your summer job. And the great thing is, these are things that will be more manageable during the school year as well!

1) Online Survey’s. – Being someone who works in market research, I know that a lot of people to do enjoy giving their opinion in research survey’s. However, it is a good, easy way for teenagers to earn some extra cash. Here are two great examples that take just minutes to sign up for, and will give a great pay-off!
Teens Eyes

2) Participate in Contest’s. – Whether we are raking in cash or not, everyone always seems to still go shopping! Well, maybe that isn’t always a great idea but it could have its benefits. After visiting a store/restaurant, check the bottom of your receipt. For a lot of places there will be a survey or contest announcement, where all you have to do is go online and give your opinion or just answer a question. A lot of people overlook these and of course you won’t always win, but there’s always the possibility and it will only take a couple minutes.

3) Become a Host. – There are so many companies out there that you can do this with, and all it really takes is getting together with your friends, family or family friends. With programs like this you get a portion of whatever you are able to sell for the company, and often you get free stuff too! There are many different things you could represent that cover many interests, here’s just a few. (You may need to be a certain age for some of these)

Everyday Style

4) Become a Tutor/Babysitter. – Maybe kids aren’t your favorite people to hang out with on a Saturday night, but eh if their parents are offering up cash for you to teach them a few math tricks, why not! The education system is getting more advanced in a lot of places and kids are struggling, parents often don’t have the time to help, so they turn to high school kids. Most of the time you don’t even need to be advanced in a course, just have a good understanding of it, since the people you are helping will most likely be a few grades below you. You could go to your local elementary or junior high school or check reliable online ads such as

Do you have any other ways to make fast cash or any tips? Leave a comment!

So now you’re making the money, but you have to be able to save it! That can often be the hardest part, deciding whether to buy new shoes for a dance, or wear ones you already have and contribute that extra cash to your college fund. If you would like to see my tips and ideas on how to save the money you make with your summer/student jobs, let me know and you may see that blog in another two weeks!

Thank you all so much for stopping by, I hope you found this post helpful and make sure to check out the rest of the blog and videos at the


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  1. Another tip is to apply for jobs a little bit before the season starts. One mistake a bunch of teenagers make is applying for jobs at the beginning of summer, when most businesses have already made their top choices. It'd be best to apply for jobs you know you'd love to work for a season before, and then just keep up-to-date with the businesses-- call them, ask if you could come in for an interview, etc. This is the perfect time to be persistent! Don't let these opportunities go to waste!

  2. To make some extra cash, I go through my book collection and take all the books I don't want anymore and sell them to a used book store. It's not a lot of money, but every little bit helps :)