Never too early

“I’ve never really been one for the preservation of money/ Nah, I much rather spend it all while I’m breathing.”

I culled this little gem from a brilliant Drake song that popped up in my music player’s shuffle today.

I’ve probably mentioned Drake a handful of times in past columns, so let me set the record straight: I am in no way a Drake fan. Or at least, I can never admit to being one. I guess I only bring him up because I’m familiar with his lyrics and persona to a better degree than most other mainstream artists. Or whatever the kids are into these days.

I guess you can think of it as an ironic “Hey I listen to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but I also listen to Drake so I must be pretty diverse in my music tastes” sort of air.

Back on topic, Drake brings up a rather interesting point: Which is the better stance to take in regard to handling your money? Is it better to save up for a rainy day? Or to spend it all right here, right now?

Looking it at from a pessimist’s view, it’s probably better to just spend it while you’re still alive and kickin’. After all, you could feasibly die at any moment, and then where would all your earnings go? Certainly not to you! All those hours slaved behind the coffee press at Starbucks will go straight down the drain.

On the other hand, living paycheck to paycheck sucks. Going out to the bars after payday may seem like a good idea at first, but without a little restraint, your two weeks of work can be blown in an entire night.

I think most of us have felt the crippling effects of having a bank account in which you don’t even have enough money to make the bare minimum withdrawal from the ATM machine ($20). I know I have. In a sense, it’s the college lifestyle that is expected of us. But the real world is at our doorstep. Practicing intelligent and sensible money management early on could prove to be incredibly useful for the future.

Again, it all boils down to moderation and striking the right balance. Live a little bit some days, but always be sure to have a bit tucked away in your back pocket.

Saving your money in a sock stuffed into a suitcase is a novel start, but isn’t exactly the brightest of ideas. With inflation, the value of those miserable Lincolns (all rolled up uncomfortably together in that fetid gym sock) will slowly but surely shrink. Inflation is the reason why you can’t buy six pieces of Chicken McNuggets for a dollar any more.

A more viable option is to keep your money in the form of stocks, though they aren’t as liquid as currency (paper money/coins). A well-researched stock pick will keep its value better in the long run as you’ll receive dividends or earnings over time.

Another option is a Certificate of Deposit (CD), if you have larger amounts of money to store. The yields may not be as high as stocks, but stocks do run the risk of losing value. At least with a CD, you’ll earn a steady interest rate, which should offset the effects of inflation.

Of course, these are just ideas that I’m spitballing and I’m in no way the local expert when it comes to these matters. I took a “Banking and Financial Institutions” course and got a B in it. I also own a couple of stocks that I purchased with money set aside from work. I should therefore retain a smidgen of credibility.

When life comes a-knockin’, you don’t want to be caught with your pants down. If you get a ticket or get into an accident, you’re probably going to regret leading the YOLO lifestyle for the past couple of months. Get one less Wicky a week or one less coffee, and instead pool those dollars that you saved into a safer, spend-free spot.

Even if it is just in a sock.

But it’d be better if it were in a stock.

Just please no, not on rock (cocaine).

ANDREW POH actually just took a pretty big hit in the stock market. If you have any good ideas for safe, low-risk companies to invest in, let him know at apoh@ucdavis.edu.

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