Five Things Every High School Student Should Know About Money
When I was in high school, I think the only thing the school taught me about money was how to write a check. It has come in very handy. I’ve actually never written a real check in my life. Not joking.
For this blog, I’m going to share with you the five most important money-related ideas you should know. If you understand each of the following ideas, you’ll do really, really well financially.
What do you want in life? Shoes? Financial freedom? A lifetime supply of Chipotle? If you do what this blog says, consistently, these things can be yours. Guacamole is extra.
1. Get the Cost of College as Low as Possible
College is the most immediate threat standing between you and lots of money. Yes, college is an investment.
But as with all good investments, you want to pay as little as possible.
Here’s how to lower the cost (focus your efforts in the following order):
- Federal aid
- Part-time job (definitely last)
Federal aid is easy to apply for and is essentially free money. Definitely apply for that, even if you don’t think you’ll get any. If you don’t get any, at least your parents are doing well financially. So congrats on that.
Next is scholarships. I know they’re boring at first. But once you win one, it gets addictive. Use scholarship databases to quickly sort through the ones that you believe you could get. One thing you may consider is hiring a virtual assistant to help. There are many sites that you can use to hire someone for less than $10 per hour. Just make sure you’re not breaking any rules by doing this.
Don’t be afraid to reach high when applying. Some of the best scholarships have the fewest applicants. That’s because few people think they are good enough. So muster up some self-confidence and apply!
The worst way to pay for college is through a part-time job. That’s because they don’t pay well. If you want to be wealthy, you’ve got to maximize your time. It’s never a matter of how many hours you put in – it’s what value you can squeeze out of them.
Time is meaningless. Results are what matters. It’s kind of like that one kid who never studies and still does well on tests.
You know the one. It doesn’t matter that they never study, they still aced that test.
2. Think Beyond Your Degree
No one goes to college and magically lands their dream job simply because they have a diploma. That degree lacks luster without a healthy amount of internships, ambition, and networking. Having a college degree is merely one small piece of the puzzle – sometimes, it’s not even a corner piece.
Focus on becoming someone you would want to hire. Choose a career as early as you can. Get internships in the field. Meet with industry experts. Be someone employers are scrambling to hire.
3. You Do You
Who cares what your peers think? You can’t please everyone, and the quickest way to please no one is to try. Do not buy things to impress people. Instead, save a large percentage of your income. If you begin your career by saving half of your income, you’ll probably be able to retire before your parents.
4. Financial Freedom is Basically Everything Else That Money Can Buy
The only mistake you can make is to not do anything. Seriously. As long as you’re doing something, you’ll eventually find what makes you happy and successful. TV, video games, and other forms of simulated experiences… those won’t get you far. Unless you’re PewDiePie. Then disregard.
Simulated experiences are fine on occasion, but don’t make them a large part of your day. I know the world seems scary at times, but you must keep moving. Wealthy people hustle.
5. Invest Today
Rich people are investors. If you want to become wealthy, you must invest as well. Start by opening a Roth IRA and buy a growth index fund. It’s pretty easy to establish. Keep contributing every month. Compound interest. Now that’s math that’s actually fun.
“Income rarely exceeds personal development,” says author and entrepreneur Jim Rohn.
The reason why this sounds more like a lifestyle blog than a money blog is because successful people live a certain lifestyle. Once you get that lifestyle down, the money is attracted to you. It sounds like hippy nonsense, but it’s true. Have fun getting rich at an early age.
I wonder if they still teach how to write checks in high school. They probably do. Probably right after cursive.