If you’re a college student like myself, then the spring semester is officially upon us. Although that means the vacay has come to an end, it also means that the refund checks are on their way. As tempting as it might be to take these new riches and splurge on the new Michael Kors bag you’ve been eying, it’s time to start thinking like an adult — starting with a budget for these additional funds. Here are four easy ways that you can utilize your cash in an efficient and responsible way.

1. Start paying back your student loans

If you’re anything like myself, student loans have paved the way for you to further your education. With that being said, your refund check is simply just extra loan money that your school didn’t use. If you’re not looking forward to Sallie Mae blowing up your hotline, start paying back what you owe. I’m positive that you won’t regret it.


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2. Pay off your other debt

Whether you’re a senior in undergrad or a graduate student, debt is always easy to accumulate, especially in college. There’s nothing worse than stacking up debt and bringing down your credit score right before graduation. If you have any debt, whether it be credit cards, past due bills, etc., use the money to pay back what you can. It’s always better to give something than nothing.


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3. Invest in your future

Making your dreams a reality is never completely free. There’s always a give and take and sometimes it’s financial. If you’re a future entrepreneur, this is your shot to get your business running. You don’t have to spend time looking for people to fund your dreams because your opportunity is right in front of you. Invest in your business and your idea. Buy an official logo, business cards, a website, maybe even merchandise. Whatever it takes to make your idea tangible.


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4. Save, save, and save

It’s always a great idea to have a rainy-day fund. For those seniors, use this check to get a head start on your life after college. We always hear stories about how finding a job after college is a process, so why not have funds to get you through the rough patch? Save as much money as possible, it could always come in handy for your living expenses such as rent or buying furniture. You could also save money for other big purchases like buying a new car. Regardless of what you decide to purchase in the end, saving your money will definitely be helpful.

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Although it’s always easier said than done, budgeting is key to financial success. The faster you engrave this lesson into your head, the better off you’ll be. Plus, once you’ve taken care of business with your money, you’ll feel 10 times better about spoiling yourself after. You’ve handled your responsibilities like adults should and now it’s time to treat yourself — you deserve it.

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