6 Money Mistakes College Students Make

In surviving college, one of the prices of independence is having to make lots of personal decisions without constant guidance from their parents. You get to have sole ownership every action that you commit to. It might sound like a good thing, but there are pros and cons to this newly-acquired power. Especially when it comes to making financial decisions.

Being a college student, you get to have more freedom on deciding where and how to handle your finances. But since you are new to this sort of thing, you may be prone to committing mistakes. And a financial mistake is something you will surely want to avoid. So to give you a head’s up here are some of the most erroneous mistakes college students can possibly make.

  1. Not Taking Advantage of Scholarships There are thousands of scholarship grants available out there. If you don’t have a strong financial background, you might have difficulties making the most out of your college life. So applying for a scholarship is definitely a good idea, but not an easy matter to accomplish. It will take a lot of time and effort to choose the best grant to apply for and to submit requirements to qualify you for the grant. By missing out on this opportunity, you also miss out on a lot more experiences once in college.

  2. Missing Out on Free Activities Colleges are filled with lots of activities, more than just the academics. Now that you are in college, you need to live your life both in and outside your classroom. Aside from studying hard, you also need to explore other opportunities and meet new people. Most colleges host a variety of activities to offer entertainment and support the interests of their students -- be it arts, music, sports, history, and the like. And since the college offers them free or cheap, it’s best that your take these chances to widen your horizon and enjoy your life in college.

  3. Improper Use of Student Loan Money With college tuition fees going up almost annually, getting into college is becoming more and more difficult. And this makes college loans a necessary evil, especially to students who belong to financially-challenged families. If the amount you loaned is used properly, you can make the most of it and maximize your loan’s potential. But if you fail to use it to what it’s originally intended to, that could make the matters worse for you. Every dollar you spend from out of that loan should be spent on your education, not for fashion, travel, partying, entertainment or any other matter that aren’t really crucial to your education.

  4. Borrowing More Than What You Need It’s tempting to borrow money that is more than what you need. Yes, you get to have some extra bucks available for other stuff, but in the long run, you are basically looking at a bigger amount to pay, and probably be paying it for a longer period of time. Having some extra unplanned money can also entice you to spend that money on something unnecessary. This way, you are actually losing more money.

  5. Not Planning and Sticking on a Budget To make the most of your available college budget, it is a wise move to create a plan on where or how to spend the money. Yes, you might find it easy to plan your budget, but are you following the plan to the letter? Because, if you are not, then your planning was all for nothing. Even a slight change in your budget plan, even just for a few dollars here and there, may have a bigger impact once the amounts added up. So more than just planning, it takes a lot of effort and discipline to strictly follow suit on your budget plan.

  6. Aiming for Expensive Colleges The sad part about college is, the more prestigious a school is, the heftier the price. You might be aiming for one of the most sought-after colleges in the country, but have you considered the amount of money you will need to support your education? Unless you have a scholarship grant, enough to support your education, for the said college or university, you might wanna try looking at an alternative college that meets your budget. Yes, there’s the option of applying for a student loan, but this will surely set you back financially for years, until you get to pay it off in full.

Handling your finances is one of the biggest challenges you’ll ever have to face once in college. Not all college students are lucky enough to come from a family with a good financial standing or be given a full scholarship grant, but however you decide to take charge of your college budget, just take into account the consequences of your every action. Keep in mind that one of the reasons you are going into college is to give yourself a better edge in the professional world. You might as well start thinking about how your life will turn out once you’re out of college.

Comments
No. 1-3
lagis72
lagis72

Editor

This pattern of not being mentally prepared by many college students to handle their own finances seems to repeat itself over and over again. How can we address this problem?

lagis72
lagis72

Editor

That is what Neale Godfrey is all about, teaching families and kids the "real" money lessons that they need in life. The sad fact is that few of us realize it needs to start at a young age well before they get to the student loan stage.

CharitieF
CharitieF

I wish I had been better prepared when I was in college and I am in my late 20's and paying the price now for my student loan misuse. Before a student is allowed to "borrow" everyone should have to be tested on what a student loan is for and is not for. Unfortunately, many of us do not think about the "pay back" side of a loan.