Money Talks, So Should You

Q&A: What are college students' most common money mistakes?

Pamela Boyce
by Pamela Boyce, The Garrett Network

This answer could be a 10-part series but let’s take a look at two of the Top Ten.

Not living like a college student

Students who have graduated and returned to give advice to the current college students will say to them, “live like a college student in college so you can live like a professional when you are a professional.”

READ: What is often overlooked when planning for college?

If you live opposite this sage advice, ie. living large in college with your student loan money, you will be forced to live in a manner far less than you wanted after you graduate and obtain work. Student loan payments after graduation will eat up your options for nicer housing, updated clothes or long weekends away with friends.

How do you live like a college student?

Frugally!

Take the smallest dollar amount possible when receiving student loans and don’t be tempted to use loan money for extras. Extras like gifts for others, driving your car and paying high gas prices (plus parking tickets) and especially watch your weekend spending.  

Not watching weekend spending

READ: 10 creative strategies to curb credit card spending

On weekends, students who live in the residence halls and pay room and board, are more tempted to skip meals and eat out with friends. This is a nightmare 2 for 1 deal - two dinners bought and only one dinner eaten.

Use cash. Students will tell you to leave your credit cards home when going out with friends. Use cash for food and drinks. When you are out of money, you stop eating or drinking. Otherwise, you may have regrets that last longer than just the ones you have the next morning.

Minimize your mistakes. They can cost you.

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Pamela Boyce is the owner of BASE Financial Planning, LLC, a Fee-Only financial advisory firm in the Lansing, Michigan area. She holds a Master’s Degree in Family Economics and Resource Management from Michigan State University. She also completed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification education program.