College is a great time in a person’s life. The relationships you form, the lessons you learn, and the life that you live helps to shape you into the person that you’ll be for the rest of your life – and a major part of that person-you’ll-be involves finances. Are you savvy with money? Maybe not so much? Well, a lot of a person’s financial behaviors are cemented during their college years. While college students have opportunities to engage in good or bad financial behaviors every day, they may not realize the consequences of their decisions. So, let’s expose the to two bad financial behaviors of college students.
Bad Behavior 1: Eat Out Every Meal
But I don’t wanna cook! I wanna hang out and watch TV! We’ve all been there – but stop it! Seriously, eating all of your meals at local restaurants has a lot of negative drawbacks.
For one, in addition to costing a lot, eating junk ends up weakening your immune system, and… seeing as you’re surrounded by thousands of germ-factories… you’ll get sick. That turns into medical bills and time away from classes for which you are paying way too much to miss.
For two, if you skip the meals out on the town and cook for yourself, you learn self-discipline. You can cook with good, fresh ingredients, and you can turn it into a fun experience.
Totally! Here’s how: don’t just cook alone – invite your buddies along and turn it into a team activity. Spending time together working on a task brings you closer and gives you time to catch up with each other’s hectic lives.
Bad Behavior 2: Max Out Credit Cards, Then Pay Them Back Over the Summer
I’m way to busy… uh… studying… to have a job during the school year. Nuh ugh. And not only does not having a job during the school year allow you to get into some bad habits (such as feeling that if you have a job, you don’t have time to do anything for yourself), it can end up costing you a lot.
If you forego a job, live off credit, and promise yourself that you’ll get a summer job and pay your credit card tab off, unless you already have the summer job set up, that’s a nebulous plan.
And even if you do have plans for a job worked out, there’s no way that you can know for certain the amount of money that you will earn over thee summer.
For instance, if it’s a job as a waiter, what if the summer is slow and you don’t earn as much? What if the restaurant closes altogether?
So, following that logic, if you did live throughout the year on credit, planning to pay back your debt with a summer job that ended up not paying what you thought it would, then you can end up accruing large amounts of interest that you need to pay back.
And if you look at the amount that pizza really ended up costing you, with the interest included, it might not taste as delicious.
Now, the worst part about this bad behavior is that it ends up forming the bad habit of having a credit card, maxing it out, and doing so thinking that there will be a nebulous way to pay it all of, quickly.
So, yes, college is a great time in a person’s life, but be careful that the habits you form during your college years help to set you up to be a successful student, and an even more successful alumnus. Watch your spending habits, credit card use, and the sorts of excuses that you might make to justify those two to make sure that you aren’t making bad financial decisions.