Being frugal during your last year of college?

I've saved up a fair amount after my IB internship and accepted my FT offer. I want to keep a good chunk of it saved for a car downpayment but am wondering if I'm thinking about money the right way. Part of me thinks I should just ball out for my last year in college, but shouldn't I also stay disciplined with my spending/saving habits? I already have over $5k in my Roth and have no student loans if that matters.

Basically my question is: for those that are currently working in IB, did you wish you spent more or less during your last year of college?

Comments (27)

Sep 2, 2021 - 10:21am
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The first and last year of my college education were the most expensive. The first year is obvious, the last year was incredibly expensive due to flight tickets, interviews, assessment centers, moving costs, losses when selling car/other stuff.

Sep 2, 2021 - 10:29am
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I studied in California and recruited in NYC and London, so it was way more expensive and cumbersome.

Also, I never owned my own furniture... weirdly. I just pick a furnished place and went with it. never lived anywhere longer than a few months or until rent increased.

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Sep 2, 2021 - 11:01am
Les Grossman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Looking back I wouldn't worry about money/say no to anything because of money, but at the same time I probably wouldn't just blow it all just to blow it all if that makes sense. Have fun but just keep the $1,000+ men's club nights to a minimum if possible lol

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 2, 2021 - 11:23am

Unconventional advice but you're only a senior in college once. Don't miss nights out with your friends drinking or going to good restaurants because you want to save a bunch of money. It's simply not worth it, you're going to have to make all of those sacrifices once you hit the desk due to the time commitment.

Sep 4, 2021 - 4:08pm
pappymason, what's your opinion? Comment below:

completely agree with this. You have the rest of your life to make money. You are only a senior in college once, so just have as much fun as you can. That being said, I personally wouldn't be blowing money on nonsense like bottle service, strippers etc, but don't say no to going out with friends based on just wanting to save money. 

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 2, 2021 - 11:50am

Graduated this year and recently started my first year. Was in a similar spot last year, especially since our internship was remote I saved literally all of it by being home. I was relatively frugal through college, but allowed myself to have more fun senior year. Never denied going out due to money. Was just a lot more of the smaller going out expenses and then took two trips after graduation with some buddies. None of those things were crazy expenses though. That money in the long term is nothing now even after being a few paychecks in, so 100% no regrets about enjoying my free time now that I have much less of it. I would save some amount for moving expenses/furniture/money down on an apartment etc, put some money in a Roth IRA(gotta take advantage of the tax free gains while being able to contribute with relatively low annual incomes)  and then if you still have some money then don't feel guilty enjoying some. 

Sep 2, 2021 - 1:06pm
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not the original poster, But I found that about 7-10k is a good savings prior to hitting the desk/signing bonus.  

The way I back into this is:

2k for some new clothes and shoes 

2k First months rent on an apartment/security deposit

2k for house/apartment items -  anything from kitchen ware to a bed to a coffee table. 

1-3k to cover going out until your signing bonus hits/ first paycheck

1k for an emergency fund -  never know when you might need it.

Long story short Budgeting is a great habit to get into. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 3, 2021 - 2:03pm

Agree with the other comment. ~10k liquid would be a good place to be. Yes your signing bonus amount might get most of those initial costs covered, but I got my signing bonus with my first paycheck two weeks in, so I didn't actually have that signing bonus money at the time of signing my apartment lease, buying furniture, etc to pay for those things. Also the fact that you are considering these things and being cautious makes me believe you'll be fine either way so definitely enjoy your last year.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 2, 2021 - 12:40pm

I made about $10-12k every summer in college and left college with next to nothing in savings (didn't have to take out student loans). I'd do it again in a heartbeat. That extra $25k in savings I could have graduated with means nothing 5-10 years into my career. Don't be an idiot and spend money on bottle service, etc. But have fun and make awesome memories while you can - go on that Costa Rican spring break, every gameday roadtrip, etc. 

Sep 2, 2021 - 1:01pm
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Exactly this.  I made good money during college and honestly wish I had saved a bit more,  but I never denied having a good time and there are many nights I will remember because I was willing to spend a little more. 

If we are being honest senior year of college is a great time to get into budgeting.  Sure the extra savings won't matter in the long run, but If I could have graduated with an extra 5k that would have been helpful to get on my feet after graduation.  

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 2, 2021 - 4:26pm

Going into my senior year too and my mindset is the same as what a lot of people posted. Not going to blow it on stupid shit like models and bottles every weekend, but I'll never say no to a night out and will definitely be buying rounds every now and then.

Sep 2, 2021 - 8:37pm
JoeyJ, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You will never get more enjoyment out of spending that $20K (or however much you saved) than you would in school, even after compounding. The enjoyment you will get out of an extra $40K in a decade or say even $160K at retirement is nothing compared to what you have in front of you right now.

You are hard working enough and smart enough to get a great job and you did. You are going to be fine financially in the future. It's prudent to have these thoughts, but there's a right answer here and it's 100% to make the most of your last year of school

Sep 3, 2021 - 1:39pm
parmesan123123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Intern in IB - Restr
Sep 4, 2021 - 3:31pm

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