The great thing about personal finance is that it is everywhere. Everything you do and interact with is related to it, and you’d be surprised at the lessons you can draw from just about anything – including college parties!
I was talking to friend who was going into summer break from his junior to senior year, and some of the stories he shared highlighted the best aspects of personal finance. It just goes to show how even in the oddest circumstances, personal finance topcis emerge.
It’s Okay To Be A Little Cheap
The biggest lesson learned from a college frat party is frugality. College students just don’t have a lot of money, and so your have to make your money work a bit harder for you. When it comes to Friday night, you have to make a perpetual trade-off:
- Popov or Belvedere
Buying in Bulk Saves
Part of being frugal is learning where to get the best deal on stuff. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Costco for college students. Buying in bulk saves money, and not just for booze. When you have to stock a house for a large number of people, Costco is great. You can get the huge boxes of TP and other essentials for very cheap!
For the ladies (or other wine drinkers), you learn to find specials like wine flights and other cheap deals on wine. Many stores like BevMo have their 1 cent wine sale, and deals like Buy 6, Get 10% Off. All of these bulk purchases are great ways to save.
Watch Out For Hidden Expenses
As with any purchase/activity, you need to watch out for hidden expenses, and know what you are getting into before you buy. With a frat party, you need to be fully aware of the costs – cleaning up the mess and possible damage in the morning. Did your buddy just go through the living room sliding glass door? That’s going to be $500! Did another guy botch his keg stand and dump beer all over the carpet? Better call the carpet cleaning company.
This just serves as a reminder that you need to know what you’re going to get. If you throw a crazy party, expect damage to occur. If you buy a car, understand that there will be maintenance costs.
Don’t Do Something You’ll Regret
The same is true with spending money you don’t have. You’ll just end up regretting it when the bill comes do, so save yourself the trouble and avoid it to begin with.
The bottom line is be responsible – at a party or with your money.
How else can a frat party teach you about personal finance?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.