That’s right. We give a year of YNAB free to all students. (Details and FAQs here.)
Why? Well, there are lots of reasons. We hate student debt and how it haunts young people for decades after graduation.
We hate that students spend years studying hard, giving their all, to pursue exciting futures as computer scientists and nurses and lawyers and teachers and business owners. And yet, they’ll graduate without a clue of how to pay off their debt, live within their means, or save for a big dream.
We hate that so many students just assume that loans are the only way to get an education and sign their lives away without understanding the full picture. (Like Mitchell, who was shocked by the fact that his loans totalled more than $100k when he graduated, and his hard-fought battle to pay them back.)
So, college students, we implore you: Sign up for a free year of YNAB and learn to make it a lifestyle. Your future, financially stable and secure self will be forever grateful and in the position to reward you generously!
And, do your homework, explore all the options, and make sure you know full-well what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line, because:
Student Debt Is Not Inevitable
Sometimes taking out student loans is the right thing to do, we just want to make sure you remember that there are other options. You could go to a city college for your first two years while you save up, or work your way through, or apply for every scholarship under the sun. Just don’t give in to the fact that you’ll go into debt and decide to worry about it later. Be intentional. Be cautious. Think it through from all sides.
Today’s Decisions Will Impact You Long-Term
It’s tempting to feel like student loan money is pretend money and some Monopoly mogul will make it all disappear someday. But it’s not. This is real money. And every single dollar of it (plus interest!) will have to be paid back. You don’t want this debt to prevent your 25-year-old self or your 30-year-old self or your 35-year-old self from doing what they want to do. This debt you are casually taking on now will be something you deal with every month until it is paid back. Think hard about if you want to take it on, and if you do, how you’ll spend it.
Your Loan Money Is Not Yours
In fact, the money you are spending now, these loans, it’s not even your money! Someone is letting you borrow it until your future self has to pay it back. Don’t for one second feel like you have money to spend. You are a poor, college student. Treat those loans with the utmost respect or your future self is going to want to wring your neck!
Money Management Is Not Optional
Whether or not anyone taught you how to manage your money, once you are on your own, you will have to do it. Money management isn’t optional—you just do it very well or very poorly. Each option comes with its own set of consequences. Take advantage of a free year of YNAB while you are a student and learn how to prioritize, budget, and set and reach your goals. If you can learn to control your money, before you even start making money, it will benefit you for a lifetime. In fact, we’d go so far as to say it would be the single most valuable lesson of all your college years.
Sign-up for a free year of YNAB and we will teach you how to be in total control of your money, and multiply your options in the future!