Money-Smart Tips for College Freshmen

August 8, 2014

by Charlie Wells

Start Shopping for Long-Term-Care Insurance at 45The start of the college year is right around the corner. For many incoming freshman, this might mean managing their own money for the first time. Thinking about the excitement—and the expenses—ahead, the editors of The Experts blog asked their panel of contributors for financial tips they might offer to students matriculating this fall.

The responses weren’t necessarily what you’d expect.

Ted Jenkin, a financial adviser who works with millennials, recommended that students start beefing up their professional social-media profiles soon after arriving on campus. “I would recommend getting on LinkedIn today and making a goal of getting to 1,000 connections at a minimum before your graduate college,” he writes. “Get active making connections across the country in your field of study and join relevant groups to get engaged on the important topics going on with your future profession.”

Aside from setting up a bank account and learning to budget, Michelle Perry Higgins, a financial planner in California, recommended that students look for opportunities to save on books.

“Do not ever buy a new book,” she writes. “New books are extremely expensive. Most universities have an unofficial Facebook page where students can sell used books to each other for cheap. Also,, and will soon become your favorite websites. Why? They will rent you a textbook for the entire semester at a dramatically lower price.”

Another common recommendation from these financial gurus: Don’t forget to give a personal-finance class the old college try.