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Career > Money

  Becoming a Financial Baddie

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.
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        College will humble you financially, mentally, and physically. Today, we’ll be tackling finance, one step at a time. College is the starting point to our adulting journey. We may have paid for our own things in high school, but this is a whole new level. Tuition, rent, groceries, self-care, and other unavoidable necessities are taking every penny. There is no life skill class in high school that covers how to budget- or at least there wasn’t at mine- and don’t even get me started on taxes and getting your own insurance. In this article, I’m going to tackle how to budget and save. If you master these skills in college, it’ll make full-time adulting way easier.


          You have to know what you want to save for before you start saving. Whether it be a new car, your own place, a pet, or whatever else you’re striving towards, have it in mind. It’s helpful to have a vision board or a goal list so that you can always remind yourself of what you’re going after. For example, I personally want to lease a new car and have my first place in the next 5 years.


          Start an emergency account now. Like right now. The age-old rule is to have at least $1,000 but in this economy, let’s be for real. The new rule of thumb is to have 3 months worth of expenses and then work up to 6 months, and then a year. Now, we’re college students. Our expenses may not reflect those of a full-time adult, and that is why I say to start now. Build a foundation so that when you start getting your big girl checks, you’ll already be ahead of the game.


          You get your paycheck. You’re excited. What do you do after? Blow it or break it down? It’s okay, we all have blow-it paychecks, but we can’t be blowing checks when we have real bills. There are many methods out there on Google and YouTube that target how to budget your paycheck. The method I use is the cash budgeting system. It’s great because I’m the type of person who needs each dollar of my check to have a place and it helps to physically see money coming in and out. I recommend you check it out. It’s important to find a system now so that you’re comfortable with it. As you acquire bigger checks, you may need to adapt that system or find a completely new one and that’s fine! What’s important is that you get used to the routine of receiving a check and budgeting before any money gets used.


          We’re young adults- of course we don’t know everything. There are so many topics that we aren’t educated on but are expected to know. Read books and do research on financial topics you should be aware of: Roth IRA vs. IRA, investing, insurance, taxes, homeownership, etc.. There is a wealth of knowledge we aren’t equipped with; arm yourself.


          This economy and job market is ruthless. If you live in an “at-will” state, you know that your job can be gone at any second. Would you be prepared for that? The reality is that even if you have a great job, you should have another source of income. Maybe even 2. Not just for survival, but because it allows you to live more comfortably. If you have a passion, you can create a second stream. I personally want to become a school psychologist, but I also want to get into flipping houses and event planning. If you’re able to develop something right now before you really launch your career, it’ll be in great shape by the time you enter your main field.

Aaliyah (Leah) Walker is a first-year writer at Her Campus at the FIU chapter. She writes articles pertaining to mental health, entertainment, and advocacy for people of color. Besides being a writer at Her Campus, Leah is a junior attending FIU, majoring in psychology and organizational communications. She is an equipment manager for the FIU football team as well as a learning assistant for the psychology department. As if that is not enough, she is also a mentor to twenty first-semester freshmen. When she has time to herself, Leah is a first time dog mommy to her puppy Zion. They love going to the dog park as well as attending agility classes. Leah also loves to read science-fiction books as well as taking long walks around campus. She loves true crime Youtube and Tiktok videos.