Five Financial Lessons You Learned in College

Finances are always an issue, even when they’re not an issue; and that’s part of the problem. So many people assume that because they make enough money to cover their expenses and enjoy their life that they needn’t worry about money. However, worrying about money is something you should always do – even if worrying isn’t the correct word. A good concept of healthy money views that include saving, investing and being reasonable is imperative. Here are five financial lessons you should have learned in college.

Shop the Sales

Buying items on sale is never a bad idea. In college, you’re a bit broke. You have classes and books and a myriad of other expenses to pay, and it’s difficult to do that and still have fun on a budget, so you always shop the sales. This is a lesson you can use later in life to your benefit as well.

Use a Budget

You have X amount of dollars today and you will not have additional dollars in your account until Y, but you have to pay Z in between. That leaves you with a math equation: X-Z = the money you have left over until Y. When you learn to budget accordingly, it’s not difficult to save money and live within your means.


In college, you will learn the importance of saving. Saving is so important. You’ll learn than without saving, you can’t afford to Christmas shop or go away with your friends on Spring Break or afford books and tuition next semester. It’s the same in real life with the exception of books and tuition. If you don’t save today, you won’t be able to afford those new tires or that new car, or a down payment on a house.

The Importance of Fine Print

In college, one of the most important financial tools you will learn is to read the fine print. Whether you learn this the hard way by missing the drop/add period for a class or the easy way, by actually reading the fine print, you will learn this lesson. It’s an important one to have, because not all financial offers are as lucrative or amazing as they seem in big, bold print.

The Importance of Credit Cards

If you’re like the vast majority of college students, you will learn the importance of credit card responsibility the hard way. You will learn to pay them off when you get the statement, you will learn not to use them as free money and you will probably learn that most things just aren’t worth going into great debt over.

(Photo by Robert Spencer/Getty Images)


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