Don’t Spend Your Money Before You Earn It

Are you interested in learning more about personal budgeting? Boosting your credit score? Investing for the first time? Well, then you’ll want to check out the Finance Issue of DECA Direct the Magazine! I recently had the opportunity to interview Ryan Connolly, a finance major at Arizona State University. He had this to say when asked about successful financial habits to practice:

“Understanding how money works is necessary to be successful. You must realize that the money you have now will be worthless in the future. Practice what you preach. Good financial skills start with your money, not your client’s money.”

Ryan believes the world is powered by finance, which is why we must understand it. Developing good financial habits now will set you up for the future and ensure you don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck like 78% of workers. However, like many college students, I regularly find myself living this way. I can attest to the fact that money comes and money goes.

The average U.S. minimum wage is $7.25 and 59% of Americans work on hourly pay. The cost of a small lunch from Panda Express is around $8.00. The average coffee purchased from Starbucks is $3.00 and the new pair of shoes you want probably costs $180.00. Now, add up meals and coffee, rent with utilities, books and other items you need for school and daily life. It’s an expensive world; if you want to afford it you have to think smart. A weeks’ worth of food from Walmart can be purchased for $20.00. Cut fast food and Starbucks out of your budget and you can easily save $77.00 a week or $3,696 a year. That’s 35% of the average down payment for a house!

Follow these three tips and I promise the amount of money you save will surprise you.

  • Save 20% of each paycheck. If finances are tight, 10% is also acceptable.
  • Start investing. Explore Robinhood, Acorns or Fidelity.
  • Stick to a budget. Map it out, have a no-spend day and hold yourself accountable.

Follow these tips, keep in touch with the markets around you and make sure you always know your worth. Soon you’ll be on your way to a successful financial future!

Categories: College & Career Advice, Finance