Author Topic: College Student that Needs financial Help  (Read 919 times)

Joe1268

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College Student that Needs financial Help
« on: December 11, 2018, 12:33:36 PM »
Hey Everyone,

Im currently a freshman studying mechanical engineering and Im about to finish up my first semester of college. I currently have roughly 5.5K in my saving and checkings combined. I was was wondering what ways I could grow this through stocks or bonds or something in order to have some spending money but mainly to be ready to pay of some decently sized student loans when I graduate. Keep in mind my schedule is packed tight between social life, academics, and clubs but I would like to try to get something started and be proactive.

Id love some advice!
Thanks
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 01:13:21 PM by Joe1268 »

leavesofgrass

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Re: College Student that Needs financial Help
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 01:48:24 PM »
Any money that you intend to use in the near future, like for debt payment/living expenses/emergencies, should NOT be invested. Put the money in a high yield savings account or a money market account to get interest rates that are better than a regular checking/savings account.

$5.5K is a a small amount in the big scheme of things. The stock market would have to do phenomenally well for that amount to kick off any material "spending money," and even then, you could lose a great deal of your principal by the time you actually need to use it. The market is risky.

If this is the only money you have, keep it very liquid. Hopefully when you graduate, you'll get a job quickly so you can start paying off student debt via your salary cash flow.



I'm a red panda

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Re: College Student that Needs financial Help
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2018, 01:51:02 PM »
The best thing you can do is start living frugally now. Don't grow the student loans.
Watch how much your social life is costing you. Make good decisions about living arrangements. Find used copies of books. Don't get parking tickets. Learn to cook in, rather than eat out.

Keep those loans down, and learn good habits that will serve you well in the future!

ysette9

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Re: College Student that Needs financial Help
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2018, 04:13:52 PM »
I agree with living frugally now. Take on the very minimum of student loans possible because they will just be a weight around your neck later in life when you want to take off. As a fellow engineer I’d say that while a social life is nice and can be important, you must keep in mind that grades and internships need to be the highest priority in your life right now. These years in college are an investment in your future self. Sacrifices now will likely bring big returns in the in market once you graduate.

GizmoTX

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Re: College Student that Needs financial Help
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2018, 08:00:17 PM »
Sleep, study, socialize for engineering students, you only get 2 out of the 3, & your GPA will reflect your choice.

Does your university have a co-op program? Although it adds time to graduate, it helps pay the bills while giving you valuable intern experience that really pays off when interviewing for your first post-graduate job.

YoungMoneyMillenial

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Re: College Student that Needs financial Help
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2018, 09:09:07 PM »
Hi Joe1268,

I thought I would toss in my advice as I am a senior in college so I have some experience on the matter. When I was a freshman I came in with way too much money I had earned in high school and had extremely poor spending habits. I wish I had found MMM and this forum years ago.

I agree with the other posts here that suggest your amount in question (5.5K) is not going to earn enough or be enough to pay off your student loans by the time you graduate. You will want to use your starting salary to focus in on paying that down. However, I think that your 5.5k could be a good start in investing and understanding mutual funds and some other long-term investments. I started investing in high school with about that amount and have found slow but strong success.

I would suggest focusing on your expenses and how you can optimize your time as a college student. This behaviour is so important to develop now because it only gets more difficult as you head into the 'real' world. The largest expenses I have faced in college are:
1) Food
2) Fun
3) Fucking

Food:
I came into college as a gluttonous shit and spent many years living this lifestyle. I advise to not get addicted to lazy college lifestyle of pizza, delivery, and frequent restaurant eating. It appears to be fun, but it slowly drains your motivation in other sections of life. I love cooking now and find it one of the most enjoyable tasks available. There is so much to learn and people always love a good cook. A very valuable life lesson to take up before your peers realize they fucked up.

Fun:
College is about education and getting a job blah blah blah. However, we know the reality that college is an extremely fun period of your life and often our lifestyles reflect that "fun".I do not want to assume, but you will probably partake in drinking alcohol and maybe even partake in occasional drug use. I know I have had my fair share of fun. However, be aware that this "fun" is detrimental to your health and is often a slippery slope. I have friends who drink or smoke every day and they run up their fair share of $$ on this fun. My words of wisdom on this are to be mindful of what fun means to you and do most things like this in moderation. Your body and mind will thank you. I enjoy most of my fun now through running, going to the gym, being outdoors, but I still socialize and drink with friends. Try to find friends in categories of healthy fun that will push you to be the best version of yourself.

Fucking:
I really just used fucking because all three words began with F lol. However, I think there is an important lesson behind the word. College relationships. Whatever your sexual preferences may be, you may find yourself meeting the girl/boy of your dreams at college. It is a wonderful place full of intelligent, driven people who are experiencing much of the same emotions as you. I have a wonderful girlfriend who I have been dating for close to two years now. However, if there was one piece of advice I could give myself before dating it is to understand that relationships can be financial burdens if you let them. The money starts to quickly add up between trips to the movie theatre, going out to eat, and general spending. I think it is very important to have a discussion early on in the relationship about how you want that dynamic to work. This discussion requires much less tough love early on in the relationship.  It doesn't mean you have to be a cheapass or never spoil your SO, but understand what the important gifts mean to your SO. I know my girlfriend and I are not big fans of actual gifts, but quality time is the best gift we can give each other. This will differ amongst relationships but understanding this will allow you to get to the important parts of the relationship.


Sorry that this is not dedicated towards answering your financial questions, but that is the easy stuff! I hope some of this information you find useful and if you have any more questions (financial or nonfinancial) I would be glad to help.

Best

Freedomin5

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Re: College Student that Needs financial Help
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2018, 10:22:59 PM »
My first thought was to lay off the social life and clubs, and get a part-time job/paid internship/paid co-op placement. Also, if your grades are decent, apply to scholarships, grants, research assistantships, etc. Anything that will allow you to earn enough money to cover your living expenses and hopefully at least a part of your tuition.

As everyone else has already mentioned, $5.5K is not enough for you to grow any sizeable amount. You need to minimize expenses, and maximize "free money" in the form of scholarships and grants, and then work to cover the other expenses. Even tutoring for a few hours per week (at $25/hour) will give you enough cash for food and rent. In addition, make sure you apply for summer internships -- that is a solid 4 months of potential earnings to help defray tuition and living expenses during the school year.

ysette9

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Re: College Student that Needs financial Help
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2018, 10:01:39 AM »
Summer internships are nice for earning some money while still in school. In my experience in engineering they are critical for getting a good job offer your last year in school. Many big companies use the internship program as a pipeline for new college hiring. Do whatever you can to get a good internship in a relevant company/field as early as you can. This will have long-lasting positive impacts on your career and earning potential.

Make use of your career center on campus. Get advice on your resume. Sign up for mock interviews. Go to career fairs and info sessions. Figure out how to submit your resume for on-campus interviews with companies. All of this stuff took my husband time to figure out and he basically missed the boat for an internship. I figured it out earlier and had two internships that led to a full-time job offer waiting for me after graduation.