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Dear College Freshman: What I Wish I’d Done for My Finances

Dear College Freshman

In less than a week I will officially be a college graduate! These four years have quickly gone by and have given me a glimpse into budgeting. In the curriculum at my university, everyone took an “introduction to finance” class. Although the class was helpful, it didn’t give me everything I needed to know finance-wise for when I graduate and enter the “real-word.”

About six months ago I came across the Mint app and I wish I had learned about it years ago. Like most college students, I am on a budget. I have been using the app to examine what I spend my money on, help pay for utilities, and see where I can cut back on other frivolous spendings.

During the first couple of weeks of having the app, I kept hearing co-workers talk about what all Mint had to offer. After sitting down and really digging into the app, I realized that Mint could have been a life-saver for when I didn’t pay my utilities on time in college! I then began categorizing all of my transactions weekly, so I could see my weekly spendings.

Thanks to Mint, I realized I have an addiction to online shopping. From Madewell to Nordstrom Rack, I love them all. I now have a budget set on the app to let me know each month when I have reached my budget on clothing. I also was able to set this up to see what I spend on restaurants, coffee shops, groceries, and on alcohol & bars.

I wasn’t surprised when more than half of my wheel showed up as gas and basically the other half was food. Right now I have an internship where I am driving an hour or so back and forth every other day from Muncie, IN to Indianapolis, IN. I knew I would be spending a lot of money on gas, but Mint makes it easy to visualize how much of my money really is going towards gas.

I know for a fact that I will continue using Mint even after I graduate and I truly suggest it to everyone. After realizing how much the app helped me, I wanted to share it with others.The first person I called was my sister who is six years older than me. I was shocked to find out she’s been using it for over a year! I thought I was the cool one, but she proved me wrong! I also decided to tell all my sorority sisters about the app as well and I know quite a few of them ended up downloading the app and have been consistently using it like I have.

I highly suggest this app to incoming freshmen in college. It is an app that can help you transition into college and into the “real world.” Before I downloaded this app, I thought I knew where all my money was going by just looking at my monthly bank statements. I realized being able to actually see where my money is going in real-time, rather than in a monthly statement, has taught me to be more aware of my spendings and budget more effectively.


Rachel is an avid cat lover, and is a new public relations graduate from Ball State University who’s looking forward to starting her career. She is a proud Hoosier who enjoys rooting on her hometown teams, spending time with her family and telling stories in great detail. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter!

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