Financial Tips My Fellow College Ladies Taught Me

No one is more financially conscious than a struggling college student. While juggling paying rent, purchasing text books, eating, and the occasional beer all within a part-time job budget, college students are aware of every penny that enters and exists their bank account. They have to be. 

As a recent college graduate, I am coming to terms with adulthood which means student loans, higher rent, credit card bills, phone bills, insurance bills, electric bills, food, water, make up and the occasional beer. 

From a young age my parents instilled the concept of "saving" into my head. Instilled is a nice word, more like drilled it into my head. But I never had a specific female role model I could look up to when it came to being careful with my money and budgeting on a day-to-day basis. 

When I entered college at 18, I came to realize all of the other young women around me were my role models. I was lucky to have a group of friends that were in my same financial boat, so it was a blessing to have not just one but multiple women to look up to and lean on when I needed advice on being careful with my money.

When you are surrounded by a ton of other girls who also can't afford to go out to a fancy dinner, you have someone there to eat microwave dinners and drink cheap wine with. So here are some tips I learned from my fellow college ladies on how to be extremely careful with your money:

1) Don't Buy It Unless You Really Need It. We can't always get everything we want. It's best to spend your money on the necessities such as food and toilet paper and save up money when purchasing something more expensive that you don't necessarily need, but just want.

2) Buy Off Brand. It's disgusting how hip it is to buy these fancy brands of food they lead you to believe are massively superior to all other brands. What's superior to me though is paying $2 instead of $6 for a box of Mac and Cheese.

3) Save Save Save. This is still an integral part in maintaining healthy finances. Whether you save a dollar or 10 or 20, set aside a certain amount of each paycheck to build up your savings account.

4) Find Free Activities. This is a bit of a no brainer, but still definitely worth mentioning. In college towns, and in any town really, you can always find free or cheap events if you look hard enough. Entertainment can get expensive and take a nice chunk out of your paycheck, so find the free outside concert or the $1 movie theatre instead.

5) Think about the future. This is difficult to do in any time period of your life, but is of the utmost importance. We often over look financial planning because we think our spouse will take care of it one day, or it's something we are "too young" to think about or don't have time to consider. On the contrary, the time to start planning is now so if disaster strikes, we are burdened with unplanned expenses or when retirement hits before we know it, we are covered.

There are some AMAZING, and might I add free, resources out there for financial planning and budgeting that allow young women (and of course men) take control of their finances and learn how to make smart choices with their money.

Personal Capital is an extraordinary company with easy to use tools to track your finances and make sure you are on track while empowering each and every one of us to take control of our financial situations. They even released a new easy to use retirement planner that helps you prepare for retirement right away.

Transformance is another excellent source for people of all ages. They can personally assist anyone from those in deep financial trouble to those who just need some budgeting pointers.

Ladies, no longer should we sit aside and cross our fingers things work out or leave the ball in someone else's court. We have the ability and resources to ensure we are in a safe spot. I'm extremely lucky to have gone to school with many young women I could go to for financial advice, and now feel confident enough to care for my bank account the way it should be cared for.

Post a Comment