DAY 7: Your Money Should Be Working For You, Not the Other Way Around
It’s time to fight for your independence, collegians. We don’t know what your background is; maybe your schooling is paid for, maybe you’re paying for it, regardless, it’s time to start owning up to a pretty imperative responsibility… your Finances.
Sure, you could go through college without paying (pun intended) any mind to it, all the while racking up an enormous amount of student or credit debt (like most students do), or you could sit down for a minute and figure this stuff out!
What’s it going to be?
“Anyone that says money is the root of all evil… doesn’t have any.” (WARNING: expletive language in video)
If Ben Affleck is the Legendary Collegian, then your life is the Epic Lifestyle we’re promoting. You’ll work your tail off, but YOU WILL BE A MILLIONAIRE, figuratively and literally.
Trust us, money will make you very happy someday, or at the very least take care of 90% of the worries you will ever have. We’re going to share a few resources that will get you started on your road to financial freedom!
Sound good? Great:
First, Learn to Create a Budget
Even if your parents are your primary support during college, it’s still good practice to create a monthly budget of your expenses and monthly income/allowance.
The best free application to use that we’ve found: www.mint.com. Completely free, it allows you to sync all of your accounts through one website and track your spending habits. You can set budgets for each area you spend in, and it will automatically notify you after you exceed your set limit.
Second, Have at Least a Checking and Savings Account to your Name
Several of us used to work for the financial industry and in banks — chronic problem for students is not having the simplest of personal financial structures set up.
However, before you do any of that — I highly recommend you read into Ramit Sethi’s blog and books. He’s a guru with personal finances and makes it very easy for anyone to understand. He’s the author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, very practical advice and pretty funny too — he has a blog too: Ramit Sethi’s Blog
If your local banking branches do not offer students free accounts, take a look into online banking, specifically Capital One 360 accounts.
If you would like to help the LC out, follow this link: Capital One 360 Online Banking
They have free accounts that you can access from anywhere, and they offer a pretty attractive interest rate. I’m a big fan and personally use their services.
If you have this taken care of already, start looking into building your credit. Sit down with a financial representative at your local bank to discuss options with them. The sooner you do this, the better. You’ll want a high credit rating when it comes time to finance your own car, rent an apartment, or even purchasing a house.
BUT, BE CAREFUL! Don’t start spending money you do not have. We’re trying to manage and/or get out of debt, not add to it.
Third, Start Learning About the Market
Hint: understanding money, businesses, the economy, and the way it all works will help you rule the world one day — need I say more?
If you’re a rookie to the world of finance, I recommend checking out CNBC.com — try to read an article or two a day, just to be familiar with any big economic shakes. Over time, you’ll learn what makes the market go up (Bull Market) and what makes it go down (Bear Market). Also, pay close attention to the number fluctuations of the DOW, S&P 500, and Nasdaq markets — it will help you understand when the market’s inflated or deflated.
For our soon-to-be or seasoned veterans, take a look at several of these:
- Bloomberg.com — market and economic updates, on steroids
- Harvard Business Review — free guides, wisdom, and other cool resources from Harvard Business School’s finest.
- Seeking Alpha — great investing focus, I recommend signing up for their daily or weekly market update.
Over the next month, be on the lookout for your new challenge every day — you can also follow the updated series of posts here.
Also, be sure to print out and hang up your Challenge Checklist so you can keep track. You’ll get a sneak peak at what’s to come, but can get further details with the post associated with each day.
Remember, legends are constantly improving themselves, so it’s up to you to work hard in accomplishing each daily task to help you become the legend on your campus.
Any tips we missed? What do you use to manage your finances? We want to hear about it. Please keep us updated on your efforts in the comments below!