Financing Your Future: 4 Financial Lessons To Teach Yourself In College

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Student loans are a fact of life that many college students must deal with, but they don’t have to define your future. The important thing is to understand how student loans work and make the most of them while you’re in school so you can avoid unnecessary debt later on. Here are four financial lessons that you should learn as a college student to help prepare yourself financially once you enter the real world.

1) Build an Emergency Fund
One of the best things you can do for your financial future is to start building an emergency fund while you’re still in college. An emergency fund is money that you set aside for unexpected expenses, like a car repair or a trip to the ER. Having an emergency fund can help you avoid going into debt when life throws you a curveball. Building one takes time and discipline, but if it helps you pay off student loans sooner and save for retirement earlier then it’s worth it. It will also give you peace of mind!

2) Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

The first step to taking control of your finances is to stop living paycheck to paycheck. This means creating a budget and sticking to it. It may be difficult at first, but you'll be glad you did it when you have money saved up for emergencies. You can start by finding ways to cut back on expenses such as cutting down on social media, using coupons more often or even making extra money with a side job! 


-No more credit card debt: Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to go into debt because they are easy to get and easy to use. Avoid this trap by only using your credit card for items that you already had the cash for or if you're buying something with a plan in place on how you will pay off the balance each month.

3) Take Advantage of Free Money

The first step to financial success in college is to take advantage of free money. That’s right, there is such a thing as free money for college and it comes in the form of grants and scholarships. Grants are typically based on need, while scholarships are usually merit-based. But either way, they don’t have to be repaid so you should definitely apply for as many as 

possible. Secondly, if your parents make too much money for you to qualify for federal aid but not enough that paying for school will cause any hardship, then try applying for private loans. Lastly, if all else fails or if you want to avoid student loans altogether, see if your school offers any work-study opportunities or take out an unsubsidized loan from the bank.


 These may not seem like easy steps but they're manageable when broken down into bite-sized pieces. Apply for grants and scholarships early and often, even if you think you might not win anything. If those options don't pan out or aren't applicable to your situation, then start looking at other types of loans. There's no shame in getting a loan--it's just a matter of being strategic about which one you go with. And finally, when deciding between taking out a subsidized or unsubsidized loan, always pick the one with the lowest interest rate!

4) Start Investing (Even Though It’s Scary!)

It’s never too early to start investing in your future. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, there are plenty of ways to get started. Investing can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little research and planning, you can make wise investments that will pay off in the long run. Here are some quick tips for getting started with investing: 


-Don’t invest what you need right now; instead, put it into something where you won’t need to touch it for at least 5 years. 


-Diversify your investments by putting them into different types of securities. (Faster returns might mean more risk)


. -Pay attention to trends in the market before making any investment decisions; this way, you know how likely they are to go up or down. When deciding on an investment, ask yourself these questions.

-What is the goal? Is this to save for retirement? To build wealth over time? 


-How much time do I have until I need access to my funds? If you’re saving for retirement and want it within 10 years, then consider an account with higher interest rates like a CD. If you want immediate access but also want higher potential gains over time, choose stocks or mutual funds. Be sure to only invest what you’re willing to lose! 


-If you’ve already made financial mistakes in the past, don’t let fear hold you back from investing again. Mistakes teach us valuable lessons we can use going forward, so try not to dwell on them! 


-Knowledge is power! The more education and information you have about your finances, the better off you will be. There are lots of great resources out there to help you learn about personal finance.


 – even textbooks! But the best way to learn is by doing. So take your first step today and start educating yourself about managing your own money wisely.

Final Words

Money management is a skill that you'll use for the rest of your life. That's why it's so important to start learning about personal finance while you're still in college. By teaching yourself financial responsibility now, you can set yourself up for a bright future.  When faced with decisions about spending and saving money, there are several things you should consider - one of which is what type of economic environment we live in. For example, if prices are low, then this might be a good time to spend money on items like furniture or electronics. If prices are high, then you might want to save your money and wait until they drop before making any big purchases.


Try not to buy anything without carefully considering the purchase and its impact on your budget. Keep these four lessons in mind as you head off into adulthood. You may also want to think about using credit cards wisely - only using them when necessary, paying them off at the end of every month, and only carrying a small balance on them at all times.


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