By Nyambura Githu
Before joining college, most of us have this belief that college means lots of money in your pocket, lots of freedom and well, lots of spending. We imagine how many clothes we can now buy, the shoes, the dinner outings, countless parties during weekends and much more money-driven castles in the air. While some of that is probably true and possible, it is just for a few. For most of the hustlers and comrades from low and middle-income families, college waits to teach you some money lessons you’ve never learned before.
It is never enough
You knew this before college, but you get to experience the fact in college. With pocket money from your parents, HELB loan, probably some income from a side hustle… you still run out money before the semester ends. You wonder why, right? Well, money will never be enough, the more you get, the more your needs build up. Faced with all these needs and not enough money, you will have to learn to manage your finances effectively or misuse it and have some hunger filled days towards the end of the semester.
Savings do not guarantee financial freedom
Yap! I know your mother probably told you to save a percentage of what you have, and you will sing your way to wealth in no time! Well, saving is an important financial decision, but it needs coupling up with some equally noble financial decisions to get you anywhere close to financial freedom. For instance, you could save some money over two months and decide to start a business. That way, your savings do not just lie idle, they grow. And there are many money-smart businesses to start while in college.
Money has power
Money is a powerful tool. In college, you might find yourself making some money-controlled decisions. Decisions that have the power to break you or build you. If having money in your pockets makes you feel happy and scared to lose it, then you are negatively controlled by money. For some, college teaches them to get power and confidence from money. The confidence to take risks with money and make it grow.
Your hobbies are valuable assets
Before joining college, most of us have the study, get a good job and earn a lot of money mentality. So you put your musical interest on the side to pursue your studies fully. Soon, however, you realize that before getting that well-paying job, you will still need money for your every-day expenses. This is where your hobbies and interests come in handy. Pick one of your best and develop strategies to monetize the hobby. Many campus students have earned good money from pursuing their hobbies, and so can you. You will have to put in some hard work though.
Money matters are an education
No matter how much knowledge you have about money before joining college, you soon realize you have nothing figured out. Theoretical knowledge about money may be good, but as your life in college will teach you, the practical part is as essential. Invest in both, learn about money and apply what makes you comfortable.
What other lessons has college taught you about money?