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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Manage Money for College Freshmen and Others

Mary Hunt on

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 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.


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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.


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.



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