DarylonFIRE Piggybank Investing

How to Invest as A Broke College Student

This post may contain affiliate links. Here’s my disclaimer.

You’re broke. I’m broke. We’re all broke. This is my guide to becoming less broke by learning to invest now.

First, what does it mean to “invest”?

My definition of investing is the act of putting something in now, (time or money) for an expected return later.

Invest in yourself first.

You’ve probably heard this before, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to develop yourself into a marketable employee while you’re young. How many times have you heard an older person say they wish they’d gone to college or learned a trade? Don’t be that person if you don’t have to.

  • Education
    • Pursue knowledge. Not just in the classroom, but everywhere you go. By the time you get out of college you should have a solid idea of what you want to do in your career. You don’t get that by sitting around everyday playing videogames. Get a few internships. Speak with professionals in different industries. Work some summer jobs. Learn which profession is the right fit for you. That foundation will guide you through your entire career.
    • The idea of this is to set yourself up to earn a lot more money throughout your lifetime. With this extra capital, you can invest and live comfortably when you retire at 30, or whatever.

Use these apps to simplify the process

  • Acorns
    • This app is great for those who are bad at saving money. It does it for you, through the round-ups feature. It’ll also invest your funds, so you can expect a return. It’s free for college students, and if you use my link, we both receive $5.
  • Wealthfront
    • I use Wealthfront like a savings account. As soon as my funds are in, Wealthfront automatically diversifies my portfolio based on the risk profile they’ve assessed. After that, I just sit back and watch the magic happen. I like Wealthfront specifically because it’s managed for free for accounts under $10,000. If you use my link, we both receive an additional $5,000 managed for free.
  • Robinhood
    • Robinhood is an easy-to-use app where you can buy and sell stocks without paying a broker. If you use my link, we’ll both receive a random stock for free.

Evaluate your spending

  • No investment can possibly beat the return of simply saving what you earn.
  • Here’s my guide to budgeting, where I provide different methods and programs to get you started.

Avoid speculative investments (if you can’t afford to lose, don’t bother trying)

  • The lottery
    • Yes, it’s true you can’t win if you don’t play. But you can save hundreds if not thousands by avoiding anything with such an extremely low chance of winning.
  • Cryptocurrency
    • Even though I know there’s a possibility to make some money investing in cryptocurrency, it’s still a speculative market. At any point in time, investors can lose 100% of their investments. To me, the technology is too new to be a smart long-term investment vehicle, but I’m up for debate on the subject.
  • Gambling of any kind
    • Do so at your own risk, but obviously this isn’t a smart financial move to spend your time and money on.

Hopefully this gave you a basic understanding of how to invest while young and broke.

As always, if you liked this post, please share it with someone who can use it. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send a message or leave a reply below. 🙂

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