5 Essential Money Tips for College Freshman

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Read this article so you don’t go spending all your money on the first pizza deal you set your eyes on.

If there’s on thing in life that’s true, it is this: it’s sure easy to spend money in college! Between tuition, textbooks and of course the notorious college nightlife; money has a funny way of flying out of even the most disciplined college student’s wallet!

If you’re a freshman in college, chances are this is the first time you have ever lived on your own.  Well, this newfound freedom has a few rules you should follow if you want to make sure you consistently have enough money in your checking account.  Read on to learn the 5 essential money tips for college freshman.

  1. Make a Budget

“Make a budget” is likely advice that you have heard before with deaf ears. If you’re a college freshman, or any person for that matter, let me repeat myself: make a budget.

A budget is the perfect tool for any person to use to manage their cash.  A budget allows you to understand how much money you have coming in and compare it to how much money you have going out. This knowledge becomes particularly handy when its Friday night and you want to go out with your friends but, to your chagrin, you realize that you don’t have enough money in your bank account! The act of using a budget will instantaneously help you become aware of your spending habits which will put you down the road to building wealth. Long story short, make a budget for yourself!

  1. Don’t Abuse Your Credit Card

If you didn’t know, a credit card doesn’t mean free money. A credit card means you have access to money, which of course you must pay back.

Today, it’s far too easy for people to obtain credit cards. Chances are, at your freshman orientation there may have even been a few banks trying to sign you up for a new card. Do yourself a favor and realize that a credit card is a privilege and a responsibility.

It’s very easy to go spend-crazy with a new credit card; unfortunately, if you don’t pay the money back, your credit will take a hit and you’ll quickly start to rack up debt! A good rule of thumb to adopt is to only buy items that you can afford.

  1. Shop for Deals

Hey you, guess what? Most local shops in college towns offer deals for college students. Do yourself a favor and try to primarily shop at stores that offer a student discount. This will give your money more spending power.

  1. Rent Textbooks

It doesn’t take a USC Online grad to tell you that buying school textbooks is a rip off.  Buying a textbook from the school bookstore can cost you HUNDREDS of dollars and you will likely only use them for one semester. Instead, check out sites like Chegg.com and elect to rent your textbooks.

  1. Don’t Eat Out

In college it is so easy to eat out, especially when you get sick of cafeteria food. Do your wallet a favor and restrict the number of times you eat out. Simply put, eating out is going to cost you typically between $5 – $15 dollars that you probably have a better use for. Suck it up and dine in; over the course of the school year you’ll save hundreds of dollars.