There are three key things I recommend doing while you are in college to start incorporating financial wellness into part of your ongoing self-care practice.
Do no more harm. So many 20-somethings are graduating from college with staggering debt burdens. Don’t make this worse by using credit cards to buy items you don’t really need or can’t afford to pay off in full when the bill comes.
Adopt a mantra of mine: “Forget diamonds, financial knowledge is a girl’s best friend.” Very few academic institutions teach personal finance. If yours does, take advantage of it. If not, I encourage you to do some research on your own and read a basic personal finance book such as On My Own Two Feet, or consider taking a low-cost online personal finance class, such as the one I offer called “Money Rules.”
Talk honestly about money. And I mean with your parents, siblings, friends, romantic partners, as well as people you can learn from. Money is such a taboo topic, so it can be hard to start cold. I recommend once a quarter reaching out to someone who is older and asking if they will spend 15-20 minutes sharing with you what they wish they had known about money at your age. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn from the conversation.