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Home / Finance / 3 Personal Finance Lessons All Students Need to Know 2019

3 Personal Finance Lessons All Students Need to Know 2019

Are you a current college student looking to navigate the world of personal finance? Here are a few things that all students should know about their finances as well as money lessons I wish I knew way earlier.


Everyone knows that many college students and graduates have it rough these days, leaving school with thousands in debt. While this is a major problem, understanding some personal finance basics could go a long way in helping students manage their money while in school and once they enter the workforce. In fact, there are plenty of financial lessons I wish I had learned while in school that would have prevented plenty of money issues in the years that followed.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three financial lessons that all students would benefit from learning as soon as possible.

The first big money lesson I wish I had learned earlier is the importance of saving and having extra funds on hand

Even though I was employed during my time in college, it seemed that my paychecks ran quickly through my bank account, being spent on fast food, DVDs, and whatever else caught my fancy. As bad as that was, what was worse was that I’d also ended up overdrafting my account if I failed to keep track of balance or had an unexpected expense. Once I even got hit with a $33 overdraft fee for buying a $1.50 candy bar.

Obviously living this cycle was awful practice for the future and caused a lot of financial damage Iater on. Thankfully I eventually changed my ways and was able to rebound. Still, if there’s one thing I could tell the college students of today it would be to live below your means and hold only as much of your income as you can. This will especially come in handy after you graduate and need to make room in your budget for student loan payments along with other bills.

Speaking of student loans, another important financial lesson is that interest can be your friend or your enemy

When it comes to credit cards or loans, the interest you’ll be assessed can really add it. In fact, it’s very common to hear stories about how much former students have made in loan payments only to learn that they’ve barely made a dent in their principal amount. Understanding interest is not only important for making wise decisions before taking out loans or utilizing credit cards but is also a big factor when it comes to prioritizing your debts and paying them off.

At the same time, there are ways you can actually earn interest and grow your savings. To that point, while retirement might be that thing on the minds of freshly graduated students, starting your savings early and taking advantage of compounding interest could make a huge difference in the amount of money you end up with. As for everyday savings, looking into options such as online savings accounts, CDs, and money markets can also help you earn on your money and easily increase your cash buffer.

Finally, it’s important that all students understand how credit works and how their decisions can impact their financial lives long-term.

Something that students might not realize when they’re taking out student loans is those loan could impact their credit for some time. That said, there may actually some positive impacts these loans can have on your score as well. First, installment loan balances don’t reflect as negatively on your credit scores as maxing out your credit cards would. Secondly, making your loan payments can help you build credit history, which makes up a large portion of your credit score. However, making late payments or missing payments can negatively affect your scores and those marks can stay on your report for seven years. Therefore you’ll want to make sure you making timely payments on your student loans or work with your lender to ensure that you’re not hurting your future credit prospects.


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