Alright, before you hit panic mode and call your local bank at home (aka mom and dad) it’s important that you understand your spending habits of today don’t necessarily dictate your spending habits of tomorrow. Nevertheless, I’m here to share with you why I was always scraping the bottom of the barrel during my time at Boston College and even after. Here are my financial confessions:
Confession #1 - Love vs Money
I working part time and spending like a boss. Needless to say, if you’re a broke college student who’s fallen for the girl (or boy) of your dreams; don’t be afraid to think outside the box and find affordable date ideas that sound reasonable with your work study salary.
Confession #2 - I WAS ADDICTED TO ICE CARAMEL LATTE’S!!!
Being first generation, the fear of not passing exams or losing your first job is very stressful to the point where you feel as though you NEED a boost to help you get through all of your objectives for the day. I’d buy coffee, red bull, monster almost everyday - could you imagine how much I practically donated to my local convenience stores?
Confession #3 - I Needed to Learn How to Cook
I ate out every day and…every weekend. Not only would I not prioritize budgeting for groceries but I didn’t even take into account how much uber payments I was racking up to these steak buffets and chimichanga restaurants. Needless to say, learn how to cook, budget your money wisely and just take the T for crying out loud.
Confession #4 - I Had No Idea About Paying Bills
My first time renting an apartment was amazing until I noticed the pain my checking account would go through after all of the bills. Coming from a low income background, I had no one to show me the ropes on allocating money for your cable bill, electricity bill, the heat, etc. I mean all of it was so brand new that to be honest - I almost starved at the end of months because I didn’t plan out my expenses.
Confession #5 - I Never Had a Savings AccountThis is the most dreadful one - I never had a savings account while I was in college. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “Is this person nuts?” Not having a savings account really pushed me back and didn’t really give me a cushion for those months after graduation that I was looking for a job. I mean, maybe I wouldn’t have starved so much my first year after college if I had extra money in my savings.
The point is, being a first generation college student in Boston is tough. Not only are you all on your own but there's few people who can guide you to financially succeed. Nevertheless, looking back at my struggles; it made sense that I came to the realization that - maybe what I needed more than money back then was actually financial literacy skills.
If you think you might be in need of financial literacy skills, download our free checklist: How to Know If You're a First Gen College Student In Need of Financial Literacy. It's completely free!