In college, when you’re occupied with your classes, your friends, and your social activities it can be easy to forget the outside world. College is like its own little island. Eventually though, all good things must come to end and you will be met with a reality check- as excited as most students are to graduate, it’s also a turning point where you’ll be met with student loan payments, rent, car payments, credit card bills, and more. Welcome to the real world.
As morbid as that may have sounded, college is an important time to start budgeting for the future. When you can finally break free of your parents’ financial assistance, the world is your oyster and it will probably be one of the most thrilling periods of your life- if you are responsible with your finances, that is. Many young adults won’t realize until they’re on their own how easy it is to blow through one’s savings or the importance of setting up an emergency fund. It’s easy to open up an app and allow technology to make the tough decisions for you, but don’t forget about all the other resources out there to help educate you about personal finance. Here are some great personal finance resources to check out in your spare time.
WalletHub is an all-in-one personal finance website offering free daily credit scores and reports. More than that however, it is an expert guidebook to managing your finances. You can sign up to join the online community for free, and after receiving your score, their WalletFitness tool gives you access to expert tips and advice, personalized savings alerts, and 24/7 credit monitoring. The website has been recommended by the likes of Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.
You Need a Budget is an award-winning finance management software that college students are able to try free for up to 12 months with proof of enrollment. The idea behind this innovative tool is to teach you how to monitor where every penny you spend goes, known as a zero-based budget. It may seem like a big time investment upfront to track every expense, but it you do it honestly, it will give you an accurate understanding of how you’re spending your money. When you figure out where your money is going, the tool will help you set a personalized budget.
Podcasts are an excellent way to learn about a vast array of subjects, and they’re so easy to integrate into your life! You can play them on your way to class, as you do your homework, or in the car. This podcast demystifies finance by putting it into relatable, easy-to-understand terms with pop culture references and real life examples, allowing you to understand how your personal spending impacts the wider economic community.
LearnVest is both a website and an app by securely linking to your bank account and allowing you to categorize your purchases into designated folders in which you can set a budget for each. If you register on the website, you will have access to a budgeting boot camp that will teach you how to spend your money wisely and send email updates when new tools are available.