Personal Finance Basics


This is where it all starts – making money, saving money, and keeping track of your finances.  Mastering your personal finance basics will put you on the road to success.  Remember, personal finance is not a sprint, it is a marathon that will last you your entire life!

Personal finance is a big subject, but the basics are the same: banking, credit cards, other debt, investing, and retirement planning.  Since this is The College Investor, I don’t have much on retirement planning, and what I do have is more tailored to investing.  You can read more about investing specifically in Investing 101.

Finally, personal finance does have a level of frugality involved.  This isn’t a frugal blog, but I do have some simple advice to impart.



Banking is the bread and butter of personal finance.  This is all about how you spend and save your money.  Here are some topics you may find valuable!

Here is a compilation of The Best Checking and Savings Accounts for College Students.  Don’t let the name fool you, those are some of the best accounts for anyone!  Also, learn if credit unions are as good as banks.

After you have found the best, look at see where you can get higher yields for your cash.

Another key aspect of banking is money management.  Are you keeping track of your money?  Here is my list of the best free online money management tools.

And even though this is obvious, I need to include it – Stop Paying Bank Fees!


Credit Cards

Credit cards are both great and horrible.  They are great if used properly – they help build credit and provide rewards.  They are horrible if you abuse them and get yourself into debt.

I want to start with the ugly, and get to some tips and tricks.  Here are The Biggest Credit Card Mistakes Young People Make, and How To Avoid Them.

Now that you know the tricks, you can find the best credit card.

And once you find the best card, you can get some advanced money making skills with Credit Card Arbitrage 101 and How To Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards.


Frugal Living

Saving money is essential to everything I do, and it should be for you as well.  Every penny you save is a penny you could use to save or invest to make more money.  I’m not the type of person to highlight “extreme couponing” or the like, but here are some simple tips and tricks to save you some pennies.

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