Most students have never kept a budget before because there has never been a need. However, now that your financial future is firmly in your hands, keeping a budget is essential. A budget should be simple and primarily consist of tracking 2 things - money coming in (income) versus spending (expenses). Your income is normally limited to what your parents provide, part time work or a scholarship. Your biggest challenge will be controlling your spending as college living costs can add up very quickly. Throw in the costs of socializing and transportation and you may find yourself living well out of your means. That is why almost one-fourth of undergraduates have credit-card debt in excess of $3,000! Budgeting will help you keep track of your expenses and give you an idea of on what and where you are spending money. (Kadison, pp. 105-109)
Perhaps the easiest and most common way for people to end up on the road to financial ruin is by constantly trying to juggle bills, resulting in them running up extra late payment charges - which all add to the debt that they're already in. If that wasn't bad enough in itself, some people end up resorting to juggling bills trough shear laziness. They just can't be bothered to organize themselves to know what needs paying or when it needs paying. If you're truly honest with yourself - and that's you, then for goodness sake sort yourself out because your financial distress is self-inflicted and easily avoidable. However, if you find yourself having to juggle bills because you've genuinely found yourself over-stretched in terms of what debts you can afford to re-pay - then a debt consolidation loan will help you in the long term. (Lombardi, pp. 133-138)
Repeat the same mistakes as others. Despite what you may think, your parents have much more good and bad experience when it comes to personal finance. If you were like me, you probably thought you knew it all when you got to college and felt very confident in yourself. Well, you may be in for a shock, especially when it comes to finances. (Taylor, pp. 17)
The financial jungle out there can be very confusing and there are a lot of smart people and companies trying to sell you things you may not need. Avoid impulse financial decisions at all times, because once you sign a contract it can ...