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College is an extremely stressful time of life and the last thing you are probably thinking about is your financial future. You may just need to make it to the next paycheck, so you can pay your rent on time, so you don’t get kicked out during finals week. Other college students, and even college graduates understand the stress that comes from taking college classes, and the strain it puts on your budget.
Even though it can be stressful, you will be thanking yourself several years down the road if you start preparing for your financial future now:
Yes, if you want to have a good retirement, you will want to start planning now. A lot of people realize that they did not put enough into their retirement fund, and have a very limited and strict budget that they live on from month to month. Plan ahead to have an amazing retirement that is fulfilling and meaningful.
There are different options for your retirement account, such as a 401k, IRA, Roth IRA, and simple IRA. Each account has different pros and cons, and you will want to figure out which account will be best for you. Even if you are putting away as little as 20 dollars a month you will thank yourself when you look back, and see how much it has grown.
You may not have even heard of a 401k or IRA. You may know of the stock market, but have no idea what a bull and bear market mean. This is totally normal, and not every family discusses finances over the dinner table.
Start educating yourself by taking classes, and reading articles about investing and retirement. You could also do something as simple as watch the stock market, and see what stocks go up and down. You could also take online classes through different companies to learn about things we don’t usually think of, like a home warranty when investing in real estate. They will teach you in a small group, and allow you to ask any questions you may have.
Stocks and Other Investment Options
The stock market can be a scary place if you do not know what is going on. It can become even more scary if you make a poor investment, and lose a lot of money.
There are ways to be conservative or aggressive with your money. There are different options such as bonds, and certificates of deposit (CDs) that will give you a return for a set amount of time. This may seem a little intimidating, but having a financial investor will allow you to ask them questions, and they will teach you how to invest wisely. You can even talk to your campus financial office and see if they have any resources that you can use as a student.
Invest in yourself.
Once you have a budget and are setting aside money each month, it is important to invest in yourself. This does not mean that you get to go on a shopping spree and max out all of your credit cards. What it does mean is that you can celebrate a little when you reach a financial goal. Take yourself out to dinner or order dessert.
Reflect and make changes.
Budgeting and trying to save money requires you to make changes in your life. Take each month and see how your spending went. See what you spend your money on, and where you can cut back or maybe even cut things out of your life altogether. This will require you to learn different spending habits, which can take time. You are not going to become a financial expert overnight, so be kind to yourself as you learn your spending habits.
Wherever you are in life, it is never too early to start planning for your financial future. Take a deep breath and remember that you do not have to do everything today or even tomorrow. Find out was is good for your situation, and do that until your situation changes. What are some ways you could start saving for the future today? Comment below to start the conversation.