Dear College Kid is a series I write to my younger self. I would send them too, if I could somehow teleport myself via time machine to my late teens and early twenties. I hope other college kids find these letters, and garner some foresight that I myself had lacked. It’s not finance advice by any means, but rather, personal anecdote. Still. I hope it changes lives.
I remember what it was like to live as a college student. Those who paid their way without a free ride to college would agree: the finance part of it was brutal. Rationing out food, opting to buy the cheapest groceries, and looking for ways to save on rent was part of my college experience. It’s like living paycheck-to-paycheck. You may not realize it now, but much of college is about learning to flex your frugal muscles. While that may sound horrific, I think there is a benefit to learning this skill. In fact, I would even go so far as to say, stay frugal as long as possible, even after graduation.
There are many ways in which my lifestyle today looks similar to my college days. Erase drinking cheap booze, the bad habits of staying up at night and eating cheap food and the books. But, the way I spend my days and money now are quite similar to how I did then. Although some people will think that’s sad, I don’t agree. Why? Because I’m in it for the long-haul. And like most long-term endeavors, it pays to bootstrap at the beginning. Spend less, pay back debts, invest more, and talent stack while building your empire.
Since you’ve had excellent practice living with less in college, why not take those soft skills and use them to build wealth? The biggest mistake college grads do is succumb to lifestyle creep. It’s a very real thing. I wrote before the real reason doctors can’t pay back their student debt: because they won’t.
Here are my top frugal life hacks:
- The Best 2022 Birthday Freebies
- How to Travel the World For FREE
- Get Rid of a Daily Commute
- Don’t Buy Snacks
- Don’t Buy Technology Brand New
- Give Up Alcohol
- Become Vegetarian One Week Each Month
- Avoid the Yoga Membership
- Practice Minimalism
By the way, the ULTIMATE LIST of things I have given up in the name of frugality can be found here.
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