Hello College (aka Financial Independence): What You Actually Need to Do

By Diana Zarowin - NYU Graduate

For many of you young adults, college is the first time in your lives in which you will have some real semblance of financial independence. Most of you will be off at school and away from home, with limited finances provided by your parents or a job and a lot of spending opportunities presented before you. Naturally, it can be difficult for a first-time financially independent young adult, no matter how savvy, to keep him or herself in check, given that it hasn’t been a previous responsibility. Add in the myriad of exciting (and easy!) ways to spend money in college, and financial independence can be a legitimate concern for many. Check out some of the following easy ways to keep yourself financially in check. Happy smart spending!

Use Your Meal Plan

Although mom isn’t cooking for you daily anymore, college meal plans are a great second best. With many halls offering all-you-can-eat swipes, the meal plan allows student customers to get a big bang for their buck. And, since most colleges require underclassmen to have a meal plan, you’ve already paid for all those swipes. Don’t waste precious money on eating out often when you have easy access to delicious, prepaid meals.

Limit Fun Spending to Once a Month

All of my spare money goes towards clothes, shoes, and books. Obviously, when a college student (me) does not make much money of their own, they (I) should not spend as much as they (I) would like to spend at Bloomingdale’s on the regular. Limiting fun purchases to once or so per month allows you to satisfactorily spend while still keeping yourself in check. You win, but within doable limits.

Groupon It Up

Yes, Groupon still exists and deals are everywhere. Groupon has savings and discounts for practically anything – fitness, food, classes, clothing – you name it! And, Groupon’s not the only savings platform. So many websites are offering deals. Do your due diligence prior to purchases – even routine ones- and you can find yourself with extra spending money and great finds.

The Student Discount is your Friend!

Take advantage of the savings that flashing your student ID card provides and you will wisely (and easily) save on so many things. From food and workout classes to bookstores and clothing shops, the student ID is a powerful savings tool that you will have during your college years. Don’t be shy to ask the stores you frequent whether they have special student savings. The worst they can say? No. And, then, at least you know you inquired!

Let NextGenVest.com  Be Your BFF

Here at NextGenVest, we relate to and recognize the fact that financial knowledge is important and powerful. We’re here to guide and help you learn about money, spending, and saving from high school through college. Use us as your go-to resource. We have the tools you need, and we want to share them with you and your friends! Sign up for a free account at nextgenvest.com or text us at 646-798-1745 with any questions. Seriously, text us!