Helping The Kids

Some common money mistakes made by college students

College kids will make plenty of mistakes during their time at school, but mismanaging money doesn’t have to be one of them. Sadly, this seems to be easier said than done. A recent study from the Wisconsin Hope Lab found that 36 percent of college students don’t have enough money for enough food and struggled to pay rent and utilities. That’s not good. If you have a kid attending college, talk to him or her about these common money mistakes — preferably before they go — and they’ll likely be better off.

Overpaying for a dorm room or apartment. Many college kids want the best dorm room and/or their own apartment. However, college kids don’t need the best dorm room and/or their own apartment. Sharing a normal dorm room is smart and economical; there’s no need to spend on a single occupancy dorm or off-campus housing. Money they shell out for rent would be more wisely spent on books, paying down loans or even resume-boosting travel.

Failing to create a budget. Everyone needs a budget, including college kids. Talk to your offspring about the importance of tracking money long before they head off to school and it’ll become second nature to them. Kids in school are under a lot of stress, creating and keeping a budget will make their money decisions easier for them.

Ignoring freebies. College campuses offer lots of free activities — kids just need to show up. There are concerts, cookouts and more. Colleges also often connect with the community around them to offer students discounts. As US News reports, students at the University of Colorado Boulder can visit the nearby Museum of Natural History for free — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Forgetting to resell books. One report from the non-profit organization College Board found that the average college student now spends about $1,200 per year on textbooks. Kids need to remember that if they’re shelling out that much cash to buy the books, they’ll be able to recoup some of that dough via reselling. While kids might want to keep some of the books, they should be encouraged to resell all the others. Renting textbooks is also a way to save.

Chris O'Shea

Latest Posts

Powered by: SavvyMoney