Everyday Cheapskate: How to Manage Money for College Freshmen and Others
All around the country, newly minted high school graduates will soon be heading off to college. They'll be taking a lot of things with them, but statistics tell us that financial literacy is not likely to be one of them. If I could spend a little time with these awesome students, I'd attempt to cram the basics of money management into their heads and then pray that they penetrate their hearts.
A budget is your friend. That means ...
1. You have a written plan for how you are going to spend and manage money. 2. You use that written plan like you would a road map, consulting it often.
3. You use a site like Mint.com or a pencil and paper to record how you spend every nickel.
Sallie Mae has a monthly budget worksheet you can print out to help you estimate your costs and keep expenses under control.
LIVE WITH CASH
I don't have the time or space to get into a long dissertation on the subject. Just believe me when I tell you that using cash -- currency, greenbacks, dollars, coins -- will simplify your life and keep you from overspending.
GET A FREE CHECKING ACCOUNT
These days, it's not easy to find free checking accounts with no strings attached -- no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirement and no minimum deposit. But many banks, such as U.S. Bank, offer free student accounts that fit these criteria.
CREDIT CARD DEBT