No one really has a definitive answer when it comes to the question: ‘at what age do you inadvertently fall into the trap of becoming an adult?’ Some think it is when you can drive, others think it’s when you are 18 or 21 and some, don’t think it happens until you have kids.

For us, you get slapped by the reality-check stick of adulthood when you leave home for the first time which, for more people nowadays, is when you go to college. You’re out there on your own. You’ve got to survive on nothing but raman, learn how to do laundry and, worst of all, understand how money works.

That’s the worst of them all. Money. It’s a stumbling block like no other because, when it’s gone, man, it’s just gone and so is your ability to do pretty much anything. That’s why we have pulled together a list of financial tidbits every newbie adult needs to accept and cherish because, trust us, it will keep you out of a whole bunch of trouble.

1. Be Tight-fisted, Okay

It is so easy to spend money and even easier to think a single dollar has very little value. It’s why so many people buy coffee on the way to work, or pop into a convenient fast food place, or grab a bar of chocolate when getting fuel. But these little purchases can add up and suddenly you’re spending $20 a day on nothing, which is $400 a month. That’s enough to finance a cool car — just saying.

Navigating Your Finances As A Newbie College StudentImage

2. The Art Of Survival

When you become a student or young adult, and you have to navigate the tricky swampland of finances, you’ll learn that the definition of poor is how much money is left at the end of your month. It’s the worst. That’s when the advice of Good Vibes could become a saviour. That’s when learning how to survive on basically zilch will be a skill you’re so glad you have. Things like grocery shopping at night and spending cash instead of using your card, and cycling instead of taking the bus will all become lifesavers.

3. Cook More Often

Yes, becoming an adult, embracing the world of choice and being able to get takeaway pizza two meals a day and eating out for the third is awesome, but it is also unfeasible. That’s where cooking comes into the pot. It’s a great talent to have, it’s fun, it’s creative and, best of all, it can save you a ton of money. We’re talking about thousands and thousands of dollars each year. What’s more, you can get even more frugal than just cooking at home. Things like buying ingredients in bulk, saving your leftovers and turning dinner on Tuesday night into packed lunch on Wednesday are all great moves to make.

4. Save What You Can

The earlier you can start saving money the better. Yes, we’re talking about not buying that morning latte and bundling your satellite package, and getting a room-mate that doesn’t want to spend, spend, and spend. These are all great ways to save, but putting that money into an account so that you aren’t tempted is the real secret to success. It’s called compound interest. It’s called an emergency fund. It’s called foresight.