#Adulting Part III: Finessing Finances

Graphic by Sean Ogami

Growing up involved some major financial milestones in my life: getting my first credit card, receiving my first paycheck, and obtaining my first internship funding.

When talking with my parents and friends, I would often hear about the importance of time management. However, I’ve realized that money management is an equally important skill, especially as a college student trying to balance personal finances including school tuition, bank account, and Zipcar renting.

Two years ago, I signed up for my first credit card in order to build credit. I received the credit card in a fancy envelope inside my mailbox. Full of excitement, I immediately opened the package and went through to activate my account. Under the novelty, I made my first purchase with the credit card at a grocery store.

Having the incentives of accumulating cashback on purchases, I bought more using my credit card than I had expected. Although paying for $4 boba drinks and $2 cookies did not seem like much at first, these seemingly insignificant expenses added up quickly. I started to keep an eye on my every expenditure by writing purchases down and calculating my monthly totals.

My first credit score appeared six months after I created my account. I took the card with me to travel globally during summer and winter holidays. Now, I mainly use it to pay for books, meals, flight tickets, and other large purchases.

Before I entered college, my friends often told me that building a good credit history would make it easier for me to get the loan for and buy, for instance, a car or house in the future.

Since then, I’ve learned how important it is to balance my own credit. In fact, managing my account in college has enhanced my skills for long-term financial planning. I would recommend to other students that they start building their credit history and read articles about the best credit cards for adults by Adulting TV.

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