Being a Professor is a much tougher task than you can imagine. Having 80+ 18-23 year-olds looking up to you for your wisdom and knowledge is a bit overwhelming at times. Honestly, I almost fell apart the first semester.
Once I got past the, “why me”, I learned that imparting whatever financial wisdom I could on college students will probably be my most rewarding job ever.
Teaching Financial Literacy now for 3 years at CSUN, I’ve been asked more times than I can count for a list of the top things that every college student should know about money.
If I had it to do all over, here is what I believe are my the top 11 Things College Student Should Know About Money.
The Proof Is in the Pudding
Honestly, no matter how old or young you are, these tips will help you build a strong financial future! High-five for that.
- Don’t mess up your credit, don’t lend your credit and always pay your bills on time. Read more about credit at Creditsesame and Creditkarma. Check out my recent article on Credit Mistakes too, you will want to master this.
- Master the art of budgeting now, while you have little expenses. Your future self will thank you. Use some of these mobile budgeting apps to help you.
- Money isn’t everything. If you are only striving to make money, you will never experience true wealth
- Start investing as early as possible in an IRA or a Roth IRA. Every dollar counts.
- Build a strong network of connections while you are in college. You never know who is sitting right next to you in class.
- It’s never too early to start building a “side hustle”. Find a talent that you are good at and make some extra money.
- Things are things. Don’t collect things…collect talents and skills.
- Never stop searching for ways to do more life for less money. Be “cash creative” with everything.
- Negotiate, negotiate and negotiate. Call your phone company and ask for a better price. Negotiate when you buy a car or a house. Look for ways to save money when traveling with places like Kayak and Tripping for airfare and apartment rentals.
- Always have health insurance. It’s a law anyway, but it is also your moral responsibility.
- Take what you have learned about personal finance, turn around and teach someone who doesn’t know about finance. Spread the word and create a financial literacy revolution.
- Bonus tip- simply graduate college. It is the best piece of advice I can offer you.