Five Financial Mistakes to Avoid BEFORE You Go to College

Five_Financial_Mistakes_to_College is supposed to prepare you for life. Yet some of the biggest life lessons are learned in college, like how you manage your money, and whether your money consciousness is “spender” or “saver.” Learning money skills is about taking action now.

So do you have to become a forecasting economist or an accounting major? Nope. You simply want to avoid the following bad habits and instead develop good ones:

Lack of Budgeting Skills
Most students don’t have a clue as to how to put together a workable budget. Many believe thatstrict budgets don’t work, and that they deprive you of enjoying your life and living in the present. The opposite is true. You deprive yourself of living with peace of mind when you don’t have a budget. Having a budget provides control over your life, not the other way around.

No Credit Card Management Skills
Many students end up deep in credit card debt because they don’t understand the dangers of having multiple cards and making only minimum payments. Making that mistake now, especially during a recession, could damage your financial future more than you know. You may be bombarded with credit card offers from the moment you walk onto a college campus, but it’s important to take the time to read the fine print regarding interest rates. Like how the rate increases substantially if you miss or make just one late payment. Also, 0% interest now can mean 22% interest in six months. And generally, you are not going to have your balance all paid off before six months. Be realistic!

No Credit Score Management Skills
Most students don’t know their credit score, how to check your score, or what goes into your credit report. Building good credit is often a complicated and counter-intuitive process, where common sense doesn’t always work. Learn about credit scores, and how significant your credit score is whether you are a saver or a spender mentality.

Ignoring How To Track Your Spending
You may not control your spending because you can’t keep track of your spending. Failing to monitor your money is like not detecting leaks in the hull of the ship. (Talk about Titanic proportions!) If your ship was leaking, you would want to know before you sink. The same goes for monitoring your spending. If you don’t watch your spending carefully, you can’t see danger coming. You can literally drown in debt because you aren’t aware of the consequences.

Ignoring How To Balance A Checkbook or an Online Money Tracking System
Do you track what’s in your accounts or simply ignore this crucial daily/weekly step hoping for the best. Don’t bury your head in the sand! Not only is identity theft on the rise on college campuses across the country, but there’s a good chance you good chance you could be wasting hundreds of dollars every year on overdraft fees and penalties.

Your Action Plan:
Take an hour to create a spending plan. Research credit scores and what you need to do to create a positive score. Find reputable credit card deals not necessarily marketed to students. And most of all, track your daily spending habits …before you spend your valued time, money and energy fixing avoidable mistakes.

For more information on how to build your financial education before college and beyond, check out and

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