You know you need to be smart with your money, you have the desire to be smart with you money, you feel like you are probably already smart with your money, but you’re too embarrassed to admit that you are not as educated as your peers on how to turn all these ‘probably’ into ‘for sure’. If you feel like you are on an island by yourself, and everyone around you just innately knows how to manage their money, pay off their debts, and plan for retirement, while still taking lavish vacations twice a year, don’t, because you aren’t. You may need to invest a little time and energy however into learning more about financial planning, and why you should care about it. Start learning about money management as young as possible, this gives you an advantage to learn some skills necessary to manage your money, even if you don’t have it on hand yet, so that once you do, you don’t have to start the education process from scratch.
You have time before and during college to think about how the debt from your student loans is going to affect your wallet once you graduate, take advantage of it. Use a student loan repayment calculator to estimate what your monthly payments may be with a private student loan. Although these figures may not be exact, for planning purposes they will give a good idea of what kind of scale you will be looking at. There is a lot to consider when researching which loan is right for you, and what you qualify, start off with smaller bites., instead of viewing student loans as one huge chunk of money and stress. Using this tool is a really simple way to learn a lot, you can play around with the different fields and plug in figures and variables in a variety of combinations, so that you can learn about managing student debt, in a way that won’t bombard you with vocabulary you may not be familiar with, and overwhelm you to the point you cease the process.
Work Education into Your Daily Routine
Your whole day is filled with habits, obligations, and opportunities. Identify some space that exists in your current routine that lends itself to creating an opportunity for you to learn more about financial education. Podcasts are a great way to combine gaining knowledge, with things you are already doing. If you have a commute daily of any kind, this is an opportunity to listen to a podcast focused on financial education.
Preparing a meal, getting ready for work, folding laundry, decompression time in lieu of watching TV, these are all other examples of activities that already exist in your day to day, that can be coupled with a podcast. Adding a new habit to an existing one makes the introduction of something new feel like less of a chore, because, for example, whether you listen to a podcast or you don’t you still have to fold your laundry, so you might as well increase your knowledge base while you do it. Books, magazines, apps, and even some television networks, are all other examples of ways to gain more knowledge in a way that feels authentic to your habits and style of learning.