I'm currently in my 4th year of college (the University of Michigan) and I guess these past couple of years of independent living has really taught me how to handle money well. Although I know my parents can help me with the tuition and living expenses, I try cover the majority myself. My main motivation to do this is the story of how my father became became successful here in the United States. When he first immigrated here, he put himself through college with academic scholarships and also took up additional jobs so our family could live a normal life. Hearing about some of the hardships he went through, I really admire what he did and want to be able to do the same thing.
I work part-time as a tutor during the school year, which I feel not only gives me some spending money, but also just allows me to mentor younger students, which is something I really enjoy. In addition, during the summers, I was able to work at some terrific internships, allowing me to gain great experiences and a pretty hefty paycheck as well
. Scholarships have also been of a great asset to me, as there are so much free money out there for students in just about every major. With my earnings, I have started to look into investing as well, putting some of my money into mutual funds just this past summer. I'm really getting interested in reading about financial economics in the news and hope to take a few courses on it to gain more knowledge and keep invest in the future.
I'm really glad I found this site with so many like-minded people as I feel being frugal is a great way to live. Living this type of life-style can be difficult (especially in college), but I have found many subtle ways to do so. Browsing through the ads, making a shopping list, etc. have kept my personal grocery bill to under $100 every month, which amazes some of my roommates who can easily spend that much in a week! Cooking is also something I picked up and enjoy doing as well; it is kinda amazing how I went from barely knowing how to cook ramen on the stove to now having a few signature dishes of my own!
College has taught me a lot, in both academics and independent living as well. Look at my accounts, I am glad to be able to start my own life with the amenities and financial security that most recent graduates do no have.