By Dave Ramsey
Q. I’m in college with a full scholarship. I work part time and should be able to graduate with no debt. What can I do now to best utilize the money I make?
A. You’re in a fantastic position right now. First, I think your main goal is to study hard and be 100 percent certain you’re graduating on time with no money issues. The next thing is to make sure you have plenty of cash on hand to make the transition to the real world. In a case like this, transition can mean anything from moving to a new city to finding a different place to live. You’re coming to a timewhere you can’t have too much cash saved.
If it were me, I’d just save every penny I could and drop it in a savings account. You can worry about investing and growing your money later, after you’ve settled into your new life and have some stability. Just think how cool it would be to graduate with $20,000 in the bank. Then when you change gears and move out into the real world, you can do some really cool things with the money that’s left. Set three to six months of expenses aside as your emergency fund, then you can even begin to think about buying a home and investing in Roth IRAs and other pre-tax retirement plans.
But your biggest investment now is making sure you finish school and have the cash on-hand to transition smoothly afterward.
Dave Ramsey has authored four New York Times best-selling books, and “The Dave Ramsey Show” is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow him on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.