October 18, 2018 By The College Juice

4 Money Lessons to Learn While in College

College is a great time to start building smart money habits and to learn to navigate the financial world. After all, it’s important to prepare yourself before venturing into the “real world.”

We’ve compiled four money lessons to learn while in school. Read them below and take note!

Money Lesson #1: Building an emergency fund is incredibly important.

Though it might be tempting to put the money you earn toward a fun night out or a new outfit, we can’t stress the importance of building up an emergency fund enough. Even if it’s just a small portion of your paycheck, put away a little bit of money each month. Then, in the event of – you guessed it – an emergency, you’ll be financially prepared.

This money lesson only becomes more important as you grow older, so the sooner you learn….the better!

Learn more about emergency funds in 5 Money Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making.

Money Lesson #2: Find out where your money goes.

One of the best ways to manage your spending habits is to find out what you’re spending your hard-earned cash on….and then to budget accordingly. Keep a log of what you’re spending money on each week, and take a look at which category costs you the most. If you realize you’re spending a lot on impulse purchases, try a technique like the 30-day rule to help you cut back. If you find that you splurge on takeout a little too frequently, learn to make simple meals at home and only eat out once or twice a week.

Find out what type of spender you are and take steps to improve your situation from there.

Learn more about the 30-day rule here.

Money Lesson #3: Expensive doesn’t always mean better

It turns out the old saying “you get what you pay for” isn’t always true. Just because an item is more expensive, that doesn’t guarantee it’s made from higher quality materials or that the company’s service will be better than a less expensive counterpart.  The main thing to take away from this particular money lesson is that it’s important to do your research, especially before making a bigger purchase. Read reviews and compare similar products. If the higher price point is worth it, then go for it – but don’t assume that’s always the case.

Money Lesson #4: Invest in experiences.

It turns out that money can buy happiness….well, sort of. Research has shown that investing money in your passions or in memorable experiences leads to more enduring happiness than buying a new pair of shoes or springing for the latest phone. Consider shifting some of your spending money toward these types of activities and resist the temptation to constantly spend on material objects.

What money lesson do YOU think is crucial for college students?