Going to college can be an exciting time in the life of a young adult. For the first time you get live away from home and be on your own. After years of financial dependency, it can be challenging to figure out how to survive on your own. That brings us to today’s question: can a college student save money while at school? The answer may shock you…of course you can!
Prior to going to college, as a Fellow with Morgan Franklin Fellowship (MFF) for three years, I learned a lot about financial literacy. I was already a pretty frugal person. I saved most of my summer paychecks for the future. Saving in college is no different than saving when you are at home with your parents. You may not be able to save as much as you can while you are at home, but saving is still a possibility.
Saving in college is probably even more important than in the years prior to college. There are many new expenses once you are away from home. As a student, you will have to deal with these…without the help of your parents. Some of these expenses can be as simple as buying textbooks, or as complex as having to make monthly loan payments. Either way saving during your college years will be incredibly helpful.
The other key component to keep in mind while preparing for college is whether or not you plan to work while at school. If you want to focus on your studies during college, then you will have to work extra hard during the summer to fund your lifestyle of choice. I personally started out freshman year without a job so that I could get the feel of college and adjust to my new environment. During my next few years at college, I plan on getting a job and/or an internship.
During my three years with MFF while I was in high school, I learned that opening a stock market account was a way to maximize my money. I opened my own brokerage account to make my money work for me. By saving money in a bank you only get a very small amount for interest, whereas in the stock market, your money can grow exponentially over the years. Even if your stock portfolio averages only 5% a year, that’s still significantly more than the interest you would get at a bank. Also, by keeping some of my money in a stock account, it keeps me from spending it.
4th Year MFF Fellow
2018 MFF Intern