If you’re reading this, you’re likely a new college student whose parents sent you this article.
But before you roll your eyes and go back to scrolling on Instagram, consider this: What if you could do a few things now to make your financial life easier for the years to come?
Your college years are one of the most pivotal moments of your financial journey. Most of the time, you have a clean slate—few financial obligations, little-to-no debt and the opportunity to start on the right foot.
I didn’t make the most of it. But right now, you have your chance.
Why Should You Care About Money While in College?
Before you write me off as another keyboard warrior in the personal finance sphere, let me tell you a secret: I was in your position a few years ago, and I’ve made (almost) every financial faux pas imaginable.
I’ve maxed out credit cards, overdrawn bank accounts, absolutely wrecked my credit score, signed leases to apartments I could barely afford, and at one point, worked three jobs but had no emergency savings. I think the only mistake I haven’t made is withdrawing from my 401(k) early.
Here are a few things I wish I knew about money when I was a college student. (I promise none of these tips involve cutting lattes out of your routine.)