College is a time of trials and tribulations. You’re still trying to figure out what you want to do in life, while also navigating the world of adulthood. In essence, you are putting your life together piece by piece. One of those pieces that often gets overlooked is investing.
You may be thinking: Investing? I’m in college — I can’t afford to be investing! But you actually can save money and start investing while in school. That way, when you finally do graduate, you’ll be able to have some money saved up and ready to go for whatever the future holds for you.
Here are some tips for investing as a college student:
- Decide how much money you want to invest each month. Whether it’s $10 or $100, the amount doesn’t matter — what matters is that you start investing now. Even if you don’t have much money to spare, there are plenty of ways to invest on a budget.
- Determine what type of investor you are. The earlier in life you start investing, the more risk you can take — because you’ll have more time to make up for any losses should they occur. But if the thought of choosing individual stocks makes your head spin, consider starting with mutual funds or ETFs until you get more comfortable with the stock market (and remember: diversification is important).
- Save money automatically. It may not seem like much, but saving $50 per month will add up over time. Setting aside money on a regular basis is an easy way to get into the habit of investing and build an emergency fund. You can set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account or have them built into your paycheck if you’re employed at the moment. It takes only 10 minutes to open an investment account and set up automatic contributions, so don’t put this off!