College Students Are Making These Financial Mistakes

“I need money for college.”

Does that sound like you?

There’s plenty of ways to help pay for college for those that need money for college. The only problem is that students make far too many financial mistakes that prevent them from getting more money.

Some non-financial mistakes include:

  • Drunk calling the wrong people.
  • Coming to class drunk and embarrassing yourself.
  • Puking at a party in front of everyone.

These are probably some of the typical mistakes that most young people make. However, arguably they’re not the worst mistakes that a young student will make. Yes, there are 3 major financial mistakes that many young people make that will put you in debt for many years to come.

How can you save money for college? What mistakes should you avoid as a student?

Receiving more money for college than you need.

There have been too many times where a friend will brag to me because the student loan they applied for turned out to be more money than they expected. Obviously instead of using this money wisely it was spent carelessly. If you’re in a position where you absolutely require funding to obtain an education then make sure you only receive roughly the exact amount.

I don’t want you to use your student credit card, but it also makes no sense to receive money you don’t need. It will be spent. We all suck at saving money in college.

Living like a rock star instead of saving money.

You worry about what to do after college, thinking that you’re going to be stuck in the rat race. You feel that college is a huge party. You live like a rock star.

I know first hard that it is good to reward yourself with a night out of drinking after a long serious of exams or assignments. I highly recommend this.

On the flip side, it’s not good if you feel the need to reward yourself with a night out a couple of times a week.

Many young people’s sense of fun is highly influenced by pop culture, and therefore instead of hanging out with friends at a bar, many people will decide to do the whole bottle service and VIP thing.

Another aspect of living like a rock star refers to constantly purchasing all the newest or trendiest clothing and gadgets. Just remember that you’re in school and probably making little money.

Not living at home, where you can save money.

I chose to live at home. It was lame. At the end of the day so much money is saved that it doesn’t matter.

When I last wrote about this topic, long time reader Stephanie wrote in with some insightful thoughts:

“I live at home now after having lived on campus for a few years – both in the dorms (expensive) and the on-campus apartments (cheap). Even though I’m home now to save money, I actually don’t recommend it. I feel that living in the dorms and with apartment-mates were two of the most important experiences of my currently-short life. Most of the really good friends I have are from my first-year dorm, and I’ve noticed that my commuter friends didn’t form the same strong friendships. It’s also much harder for me to connect with new people now that I’m living off campus.

My conclusion is that you should get in at least one year of dormitory living. It’s worth the price! Then seek out a cheap apartment or, if you feel you should, move home. In my opinion, it’s an experience that you can’t put a price on.”

You can save money in college. You just have to do your best to avoid certain financial mistakes. The good news is that we all make these mistakes. You don’t have to feel too bad if you’e struggling with them.

1 thought on “College Students Are Making These Financial Mistakes”

  1. I’m not sure how things work in America but in the UK students get their loan for the year divided into three lumps sums. Each of these lumps sums are automatically paid into the student’s account at the beginning of term which makes sense because a lot of halls of residence require a down payment for the first few months. The mistake that a lot of people I know make is ‘celebrating’ the installment by going out for drinks and clubbing. Not only on the day that they receive the money but for a few weeks afterwards. There isn’t much thought to the weeks before the next installment when people become hermits and are eating 9p noodles. What’s frustrating is that they can still have this fun with a bit more responsibility. If they set themselves a limit per week of how much to spend then they wouldn’t need to lock themselves in and starve themselves at the end of the semester.

    Also this day being a day to ‘celebrate’ ‘getting money’ is really not right. I don’t mean to sound like a spoil sport but people often forget that this is borrowed money and not just a government handout. It feels that way because it’s received every few months with no qualms but it is debt. In england the rate is extremely low but it’s still a debt.

    People also don’t budget! There is no time better than college years to get a firm handle on a budget because money isn’t constant and often runs out before people realise.

    What really frustrates me is that a close friend who says she is good with money is anything but. She receives an extra £400 a month from her parents on top of her loan installment. And she says this isn’t enough?! I know that my monthly spend is £580 including rent in central london. My rent is £422.50 per month so that leaves just under £160 for other things like bills, entertainment and food. Now I admit I don’t eat out with the girls or buy coffees. I always have a packed lunch on me because I get up early to make sure I won’t spend needlessly. She eats out every single day and always gets a coffee. This usually comes to £4 for lunch. At the end of term she came in and sat down in the union with another friend and I and said sombrely, “I have no money so I had to bring a packed lunch.” She said it in such a sour tone and in a way to encourage us to feel sorry for her that I felt extremely annoyed. It takes 10 mins tops to make a packed lunch and costs under a pound and she’s complaining to me? It makes no sense. She also scrimps on my other friend on nights out. For example she said she didn’t have enough for a taxi so we all chipped in. Then the next day she bought a pair of shoes. What is up with that. I really like her except for this one very frustrating trait.

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