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College Finances Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

A comprehensive guide for millennials and college students alike to get a hold of their finances and fine tune their money skills.

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Compound Interest

Compound interest is the process by which your interest accrues interest. It is the reason that investing in apprec­iating assets can make you rich, and failing to pay off high-i­nterest debts can drive you deeper in debt very quickly.


Step 1:
Determine your goals. What does a life where money is not a concern look like?
Step 2:
Determine your income. What is your cash flow each month? Are all of your eggs in one basket?
Step 3:
Determine your fixed expenses. These are necess­ities for you to live each month. Includes: housing, utilities, food, etc. Think any recurring monthly payments.
Step 4:
Pay yourself. Set aside 10%-20% of your income for you. This is to be used for investing and saving and will be used to purchase income­-ge­ner­ating assets.
Step 5:
Determine your variable expenses. These are not necess­ities and include: entert­ain­ment, clothing, and other discre­tionary spending.
Note: As you increase your income and decrease your variable expenses, give yourself a raise. Do not fall into the trap of lifestyle inflation.

Credit Card Basics

1. Get One!
If you do not have a credit card, get one. You need to start building credit at a young age to allow you to purchase assets (house, car, etc.) in the future.
2. Use It (Respo­nsibly)
If you cannot afford something, you cannot afford something. Never buy something on a credit card you don't have the money for.