The great majority of college students across the country are attending school on someone else’s dime. Whether it’s government loans or parents paying part of your way (or both), very, very few college students rely completely upon themselves when it comes to finances. In fact, many college students do not know basic finances that they need to know in college and beyond.
Believe me, I am not judging….I actually am one of these students. My parents paid for almost everything for me growing up; when I got my first job at 16, I used what little I earned for time out with friends and shopping trips, asking my parents for extra here and there. As long as the request was reasonable, they didn’t deny me if they were able to help.
It was only when I applied and got accepted to college that I realized how bad off my parents and I were financially. The summer before my first year of college, I had several panic attacks because of the stress and uncertainty of what lay in front of me financially. I spent my first semester not working, stressed about money and how much I had taken out in loans to go to school. My second semester, I took a less than ideal job that paid pretty well for a student with no experience in healthcare (I worked as a psychiatric nursing assistant).
That next summer, 2013, went a little better for me because I had started building my savings. I lived on campus with a meal plan (paid for by loans), and spent summers at my parents’ home where they bought me food. I found a new job that was less stressful and kept saving while living off student loans (which I didn’t realize was such a bad thing!…but more on that later).
My parents ended up borrowing a few thousand from me to pay for unexpected medical bills my sophomore year of college. Starting from almost zero in my bank account scared me, but I had a lot of support: my parents paid me back as much as possible, as often as possible; my boyfriend was very willing to spend more nights in cooking and watching movies we already owned, rather than going out to dinner and movies; my friends, many of whom were in school only on loans as well, encouraged and supported me….especially when I got a second job.
I have worked very hard over the last few years to save money up…with good reason. After two years of college, I currently owe over $47,000 in student loan debt!
I’ve estimated that by the time I finish my undergraduate degree in nursing, I will owe at least $75,000.
So I’ve decided it is TIME FOR A CHANGE..
I’m taking a hold of my financial future. And I’m starting this blog because I know there are others out there who are in the same place I am, with no idea how to make sense of all of the advice and mumbo-jumbo out there about finances. I’m not a finance major, so everything that I’ll post will be easy to understand for students and post-grads of all paths.
Check back often for advice on:
- Budgeting: how to start one, how to tweak it, and why this is as essential as your cell phone!
- Basic Financial Tips: little tidbits on saving money, making more money, and smart spending
- DIYs: Do-It-Yourself projects are perfect for college students…it’s cheap, fun, and doesn’t require a lot of time away from your studies
- …and more!
Stay tuned and let me know what you think by commenting below!