The Establishment offers financial advice for college students

Olivia Smith, Reporter

The average millennial graduates college with nearly $30,000 in debt. After college, making sense of those student loans can seem nearly impossible.

It’s a problem that many college students face, but luckily there’s a new way to learn about managing finances with a fun twist.

The Establishment by Mass Mutual opened two months ago in Williamsville, NY, and is looking to help millennials conquer their money troubles.

The company teaches financial education for those in the 25 to 30 age group, but urges students that it is never too early to learn.

Millennials are welcomed at The Establishment by four financial advisors who teach courses on how to manage student loans, credit scores, and start investing, but offered in an understandable way.

“We want to make it more like a conversation,” Marketing and Brand Specialist Marissa Dinello said.

The setup of The Establishment is organized more like a home than an office cubicle. Guests can sit on couches or around a large dining room table. Surrounded by people all from the same age group, it’s perhaps the most comfortable and welcoming way to talk about finances.

“It’s a fun and unique atmosphere,” Dinello said.

A typical class is organized like a social environment. Classes start at 6 p.m., but doors open a half hour early where hors d’oeuvres and drinks are catered by James Carlos.

However, if you prefer, The Establishment also offers a one-on-one setup for an individualized look into your finances.

Classes are offered twice per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, each with a different topic.

Classes on credit scores and student loans cost $10, classes on investing cost $20, and a new class, Money and Mimosas, is free.

Money and Mimosas offers a more casual class, where you can come for food and drink and ask advisors any financial question you have.

“No one wants to talk about investing for hours,” Dinello said, “so we try to mix it up by offering dinner.”

Though most of us may not be worrying about our future finances now, it’s never too early to start learning.

Financial advisor Jon Hoffman wishes he could go back to his twenty-year-old self and make sure he knew how to save more money, which is why he wants to help others make sense of their finances.

“Saving for insurance and retirement is all cheaper when you’re younger too,” Financial Advisor Sarah Blankenship said.

Blankenship urges college students to learn as soon as possible, because it’s easier to understand now than when you’re older.

Located on 5110 Main Street Suite 100, The Establishment is in a central location and just twenty minutes away from SUNY Buffalo State.

The next class offered is on Feb. 16 on student loans.

The Establishment hopes to add more classes in upcoming months, because classes are already filling quickly.

Be sure to register for a class online at

“We are a company by millennials for millennials,” Dinello said. “We want to reach out to this demographic, because you are never too young to learn these life skills.”

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