As the oldest of three children, there was no one to really prepare me for college life .
That made the transition from living at home to attending school across the country all the more. Sure, my mothers dropped little clues about what it would be like, but I didnt have the example of an older sibling to fill me in on what it would really be like. The day my mothers drove me to the airport for a flight to California from Connecticut, it reached me that I was entering an entirely new stage in life.
One of the most exciting parts about living independently was dealing with fund day to day in a whole new way. Suddenly, the decision about whether or not to eat out with friend or make pasta at home took on new meaning.
It was my to budgetto figure out how to pay rent, buy groceries, divided the monthly Wi-Fi and electric bills with my roommates, and have a little left over for funand I found the process actually liberating. Sure, I had to build, but doing so made me feel like an actual grown-up.
It was a big change, and it passed speedily. But I was happy to take on the responsibilities that accompany leading a more independent life.
Money management is one of those life abilities that you have to figure out through firsthand experience. As a college student, biding on top of my personal finances without the safety net of my mothers was a task I wasnt accustomed to.
In high school, I got used to swiping my debit card without taking a transcript of the receipt or keeping track of what I was spending every month. Soon enough, though, I developed some good habits that really worked for me, and as period went on I felt more and more by my grown-up existence.
Since I knew that keeping receipts was able to result in a mound of little slips of newspaper lining the bottom of my handbags and pockets, I decided to all my expenditures instead.
I started listing every single expense on my phone, which was always on me and therefore more convenient than carrying around a notebook and pen. At first I forgot to jot things down, and Id rack my brain weeks later trying to reconcile my bank account balance, but eventually recording everything became second nature. I slipped into the of my spending.
While I merely intended to use the list as a means of my spending, it quickly helped me realise how many unnecessary purchases I was making.
Ordering out was feeing up a chunk of my money over the course of the month, so I to spending more time and money preparing dinners at home instead.
Turns out cooking for yourself can be super satisfying, and not just because you save money doing it.
I started inducing grocery shopping a weekend ritual that involved buying healthy food alternatives to last me an entire week. Previously, my excuse for eating out and ordering in so often was that Id be by the end of the day to go to the store.
But once I started planning in advance and buying groceries in bulk, I noticed that my list of expenses for the week was than before. I felt more disciplined about my spending, and better about myself overall.
I also began talking to my friends about how were handling their personal finances, welcoming tips-off and suggestions about how they managed their money and what worked best for them.
Those dialogues offered up some interesting insights and tools I began to test for myself.
Talking about money with my peers also helped us connect as young adults. I realized that I didnt need to call my mothers every other day to ask them questions.
After awhile, I started to feel like a much more confident, responsible young adult.
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