Oh crap! I forgot to save money for college!

Our first team-written blog. A quick 1-2 punch of advice from the illustrator and author of Lemonade Stand Economics that will help those who are starting college soon…without a financial plan.

ROBERT (21 year old college junior and student business owner)

“I wish I had this book when I was in high school!” is what I have heard at least a thousand times while illustrating for Lemonade Stand Economics. I hear it mostly among my college friends complaining about student loans and how they are too deep in now. I really want to say, “Stop whining! It is not too late.” robert edited

The reason I like Lemonade Stand Economics so much is not because it has a great plan for high school students. I stand behind and am proud to work for Lemonade Stand Economics because of the lessons the author Geof White gives to young entrepreneurs. I am a young entrepreneur. I have faced all the stresses and overcome many strange obstacles. I learned how to interact with customers, organize finances, make (& correct) mistakes and everything in-between. The book  illustrates some of these obstacles and talks about how telling the world you are paying for college can really help your sales. The book explains just how much work it really is and the importance of confidence and dedication. Geof White knows what it takes to make money as a young entrepreneur because he did it.  And I’m doing it too. Actually, there are lots of us around the country making blankets, selling popcorn, mowing lawns and scooping up dog doo to earn money. (Yep, not kidding.)

So regardless if you’re 12 and debt-free or 23 and swamped in debt, it is not too late. You can start something. You can skip the mistakes I made and start making money now. You can also address some of the mistakes you’ve already made and tackle that debt NOW – before you graduate. The debt isn’t going anywhere till you do something about it. It’s never too late to try something new to get rid of it.  What do you have to lose?

GEOF (42 year old business owner, father of two, author and former student entrepreneur)

Does this sound familiar?  “I graduated last month! We had a big party. After four great years of high school I am headed off to college in September. I am soooo excited! I put a lot of thought into where I am going. I toured the campus, chose a major or two to consider, and even wrote down how much it’s going to cost. Oh crap!  I worked at my job all year but, well, I kinda forgot to save much. I planned on saving for college,  I really meant to…but life just happened and now I don’t have anything saved.  Now what? WTF am I going to do?!?  September is in four weeks??!?  Is it too late?  How did I even enjoy my graduation party when I don’t have enough money for school in the fall? FML.”  

If this rings a bell, I have some advice that may help. Geof cropped

It’s NEVER too late to start.  So you got a late start on saving for college…so what?  You are not the only one. Being unprepared financially for college is actually quite common. Don’t let the lack of time scare you.  There is still some time to earn.  Before you start classes…during the semester…and next summer, but get started NOW. Don’t have this same panic in 11 months.

Earn as much money as you can- as fast as you can.  The first decision to make is – Are you going to do something about this situation or are you going to hope it goes away on its own?  Money only falls from the sky when you make it fall from the sky. I call it “shaking the money tree.” Some people shake that tree like crazy and make some serious bank. Others work for minimum wage, earn very little and feel sorry for themselves. Because time is short, you need to earn as much as you can in the shortest amount of time. Then lather, rinse, repeat until freshman orientation.

Be frugal! BE AS CHEAP AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN BE. Sorry, that’s what happens when you don’t plan. You need to KEEP and save as much money as you can this summer. This means don’t spend it as fast as you make it. When you do spend money this summer…spend it wisely. You are a smart kid, you know what is wise and what is not.

The summer is the best time to earn some cash for college. At this point you are saying “Well, how do I do that?  How do I earn as much as I can?” My answer is this. Go read Lemonade Stand Economics (http://www.amazon.com/Lemonade-Stand-Economics) – and read it fast!  I wrote it just for you.  

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