By Lyndsay Rush
Did you know the average college senior will graduate with $4,100 in credit card debt? Believe me, you don’t want to be one of them. Here are some quick tips on how to stay financially healthy.
MAKE A BUDGET
Decide everything from how often you’re going out to eat to when you’ll buy new clothes or go to the movies. Try Mint.com to track your spending and see where you’re splurging the most. Don’t forget things like car repairs, haircuts, and tickets to the big game.
SAVE FOR BIG PURCHASES
Despite the elusive “buy now, pay later” thinking behind credit card, there’s deep wisdom in waiting to purchase something until you can actually afford it. Live within your means and save the money you’d otherwise be spending on interest charges.
CREDIT CARD CAUTION
Don’t get a credit card without consulting your parents. Whatever free gift they have at the table is not worth getting into credit card trouble. When in doubt, ask an adult whom you trust for advice.
SET YOUR SCENE
Don’t hang with “big spenders.” If you want to be frugal, don’t go out with people who make it rain.
USED ISN’T ALWAYS BAD
Buy used textbooks. The oldest trick in the book (pun intended).
CONQUER THE CAMPUS
Take advantage of campus activities. Most of them are free and actually a great way to meet new people!
Read more from Lyndsay Rush in the upcoming Winter 2011-12 issue of Collegiate magazine, available for purchase here.