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Money-Saving Tips for Millennial College-Entrepreneurs

Posted on August 22nd, 2017
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Growing up during the last major recession means that today’s millennial college entrepreneurs are already in the savings mindset. They’ve learned how to live with less than previous generations, which has made them much more conscious of how much things cost. Unlike other generations, they’re looking to offset the cost of things like tuition, housing, food, entertainment, and healthcare expenses.

Knowing where they are going and what they want means that millennials are also  empowered to say no to paying too much or relying on credit too often. That’s why this new breed of young entrepreneurs are constantly on the lookout for money-saving tips.

Growing up with technology has also enabled these entrepreneurs to do price comparisons online and access deals and discounts for everything from appetizers to phone cases.

However, there may be some unfamiliar money-saving tips that can help millennials. The millennial wants to save money in areas that aren’t essential to launching their burgeoning startups but can further their frugal ways.

Separate Your Business and Personal Expenses

As a startup owner, especially while you are at college, may be challenging to determine what’s a business expense and what’s a personal one. It becomes particularly sticky given the fact that you might be running your new business from your dorm or apartment.

However, it’s important to keep good records that separate these expenses and account for them in distinct ways. For tax purposes, keeping good records can deliver additional savings in the form of deductions while lowering your risk of being audited.

Software like QuickBooks allows you and help you to set up separate records for your business and personal accounts. QuickBooks can also be set-up to track the “what if” category. The What-if category is, “what if a portion of my dorm room can apply to tax credit?” These are the money spending categories you’ll check on when tax time comes. Boom! You track it, you’ll know what questions to ask and it helps you understand how to separate and track various types of expenses.

Because you’re always on the go, it also helps to use an expense-tracking app like Expensify. This app manages every type of expense you have, makes it easy to divide up expenses, and even integrates with QuickBooks.

Reduce Expenses Through Comparison Shopping

As a millennial you already do online comparisons. Would you eat at a restaurant without checking on yelp or some other verification site? Probably not. Go to a movie without reviewing? Never. For a movie, you check the review, the movie has your 5 star rating. Next steps, you click over and get the ticket — hop on maps if you haven’t been to this venue (which you also checked out) and you’re outta here.

You may not have realized how savvy you are to the many ways you can undertake cost-cutting and tracking exercises. As millennials you are connected in such a way as to get the word out online where the savings can be found in any business sector. Use this same process for your dorm room entrepreneur system.

Your search now includes ways to reduce utilities, internet, TV services, and more that previously seemed impossibly challenging. Many of these service providers didn’t have competition before, so you were locked into paying what they felt like charging.

With the advent of cable-cutting companies, you can now negotiate. You can also seek out comparison shopping websites designed to save you a bundle with convenient connections to reduced internet services. There are numerous deals out there, and having a platform like this can help you locate and leverage them quickly. Like that movie. Boom, 60 seconds, not hours.

Establish Credit to Build a Good Score

Your business may need to tap into funding to grow and expand. Investors may not be as interested in you, or you may not need much in the way of capital. This is where credit can help, even if you’ve previously avoided it. Some use of credit can not only provide necessary capital, but it also offers a way to establish the credit score you need to get access to more credit later on.

When it comes to accessing business credit, both your business and personal credit scores are checked. With little to no experience with credit, it’s important to educate yourself before making any decisions about what kinds of credit to apply for and how to use it. After all, you don’t want to do anything that ruins this score and costs you more money.

Companies like CreditSoup are there to help. CreditSoup, for example, offers an effective tool that you can tap for learning how to get a credit card. With how fast the millennial searches, you’ll know how to determine which cards are best for your situation, what your credit score means, and what it takes to raise your credit score. The better decisions you make about credit, the more you can use it to manage cash flow.

Tap Campus Resources

Your university has charged you a considerable amount of tuition for access to the campus, including all of its facilities. Make sure you get the best bang for those bucks. Colleges often have school sites and pages where you can advertise your business. These are also sources for finding individuals who can serve as brand ambassadors or work as interns.

Additionally, your school most likely has an incredible library for completing research. And yes, sometime it’s just a quiet place to sit and look online accessing information, and furthering your knowledge of your startup industry or business niche. However the library databases cost money for those not attending a school with paid subscriptions. Get as much of this intelligence as possible while it’s free, and do your compare right there on the spot.

Your university may also have a radio station or other channels to get the word out about what you offer. Even your classes and professors may be able to connect you with more assistance and networking opportunities to grow your business. Look at what’s available, and use as much as you can while you’re still attending school. Also, consider creating an advisory list with contact information that can be beneficial long after you graduate.

Leverage the Sharing Economy

We live and work in the sharing economy, which emerged in response to the recession and continues to be a valuable way to save money. Most social media sites host groups of individuals who are looking to trade items and equipment for other resources. Scour these sites for items and products that could be useful to your business. You can also offload all that junk you collected in college — it might be a treasure trove to someone else.

Besides these online social media groups — usually referred to as exchanges on sites like Facebook — other online sites, including Craigslist, offer opportunities to share, borrow, or trade things that might otherwise be too expensive. There are sharing sites for home and office items, clothing, transportation, and various services.

Go Crazy for Coupons

Coupons used to be all the rage for your parents. Your mom most likely clipped them from newspapers to use at the grocery store or to buy school clothes. While that saved money, carrying those everywhere meant they were frequently forgotten or lost.

Today, you can tap digital sites, coupon codes, and downloadable discounts. A quick search can find you immediate deals, and browser extensions like Honey can continue to hunt for you while you do other things.

There should be no shame in your money-saving game by taking advantage of coupons. It’s a great feeling to realize that you just saved a significant percentage of your purchase — no one wants to pay full price for anything.

Save, Save, and Save Some More

Those savings mean more money for other items; these strategies put dollars toward your emergency fund, savings account, or retirement planning. Here is a nifty macrs calculator to get there quicker. Best thing about all of this, they set your burgeoning company up for success today — and long after you’ve left school.

Serenity Gibbons

Serenity Gibbons

Local Unit Lead for NAACP in Northern California with a mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. I enjoy writing and interviewing people making a difference in the World. Former Assistant Editor NY Times. NYU Alum living in sunny California.

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