3 Easy Steps to Success

It's Thanksgiving week.  Time to stuff yourselves with the most delicious foods ever created.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and of course, success.  We're going to discuss how to set yourself up for a lifetime of success.  Let's dig in.

A surefire way to be financially successful has been debated by many, but a prevailing 3 pronged strategy has emerged.  It's parts are: get educated, be wise with your money, and make connections with people.

Get an Education

College Degree

I'm sure you've heard this at least a million times from your family: "you need to get your degree so you can be successful".  Low and behold, they're right!  Here are some numbers to back up that claim.

"Among millennials ages 25 to 32, median annual earnings for full-time working college-degree holders are $17,500 greater than for those with high school diplomas only. That gap steadily widened for each successive generation in the latter half of the 20th century." -U.S.News



Certificates are another great way to add value to yourself and earn more money.  There are a wide variety that are offered for almost every industry.  A couple are:

  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Project Mangement Professional (PMP)
  • Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Certificates can sometimes be obtained instead of a degree, or in the best case, added on top of your degree to amplify your earnings even more!

Get educated, in some way.  Get letters behind your name, degrees in your hand.  Employers want to see that you accomplished something substantial.

Be Wise With Your Money

This is our forte.  CollegeInvestr was created to educate the college population on money.  The best ways to wisely manage your money are:

1. Create a Budget

Creating a responsible budget and being honest with yourself on how you spend your money is the first step in creating wealth.  It doesn't matter how much money you make, if you spend it frivolously, you'll still be broke.

Sitting down once a month and figuring your gross income, fixed expenses (rent, food, car, etc...), and variable expenses (beer, pizza, entertainment), is a great way to plan.  Remember to have some money left over at the end of the month to save!

Here are some resources that will help you start your budget:budgeting-mistakesBudgeting Graphic





The first, is a CollegeInvestr classic.  The second was posted on one of our favorite finance education websites; VTX Capital.

2. Save Your Money

This is self explanatory.  Take the extra money from your budget every month and set it aside.  Smart savers will put their money in a different bank account where they can't get to it on a whim.

Collecting wealth is about consistency.  Saving the same amount every month for a long period of time will help you amass a large stockpile.  CollegeInvestr discussed the effects of consistency and how it can benefit YOU in this article (click the picture to learn more):


3. Invest Your Money

Investing isn't something that is on 99.9% of college students' minds.  But it should be.  Investing is a great way to have your money work for you.  Securing your future retirement with a good, diversified portfolio is very important.

If you want to learn why investing is so important for young adults, please click the picture below!


College students have an edge on baby boomers in this battle.  We have time.  We have years and years more to watch our money grow through the power of compound interest.

Compound interest is very simple.  You make money when you earn interest.  Then, that interest earns interest on it as well.  As your pile of money grows, the more interest you'll gain and the faster your cash will grow.

We've compiled some more information on compound interest in this post and we highly suggest that college students read this.  Click the picture below to find out more!

Compound Interest Graphic

Make Connections

Making connections with the right people is one of the top ways to become successful.  Here's why.  One of the strongest assets when you're applying for a job is having a great, personal reference inside the company.  When you have someone on the inside that will highly recommend you because of your past work, that is a huge plus for you.

It's also very important to diversify the people you know.  Get to know people from every walk of life.  You never know where you're going to end up or what kind of mutually beneficial relationship you can establish with someone.

Being a friend to a tax accountant might help you learn the tax code better so you can do your own taxes.  Knowing the president of a university might lend you a strong recommendation for a position within the school.  Helping out someone who runs a restaurant might get you a reduced price or free food and drink.

Meeting people and making connections isn't all about getting free things or receiving referrals, but these are extremely helpful relationships that you can use to benefit your career and help you gain success.

Making these connections is the final, and most important step to becoming financially successful, and generally happy.


Remember, we're looking out for you and your future!  We have dozens of posts that contain the best personal finance advice we can find.  Now, we want to give you our FREE college wealth building video series.   If you're ready to take that next step on your path towards success, click the link for details, or sign up to receive it below!


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Building wealth while you're in college is hard, we know. If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, we can help. We want to give you our best tips and tricks to help you build wealth in your twenties and beyond. Sign up below!

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