A Simple Guide to Wasting Your Money

Yes, you read that title correctly.

There is a TON of advice out there on how to save your money and where the responsible student should spend it.  But, there’s little on how students often waste their money on frivolous items that can easily be avoided.  So, consider this a “To-Not” list rather than a ‘To-Do” list, and we hope to save you some cash.

Do you do any of the following?

“Making it Rain” – cool in videos, but probably not a sustainable student lifestyle.
  1. Pay Full Price – For Everything
    If you’re at college, odds are there are some pretty decent savings to be had either at your school or the surrounding area.  In these situations, it’s best to be smart and social.  Check Twitter, Facebook, ask your friends or even ask that place of business if they have any deals for students.
  2. You Don’t Mind Paying Fees
    Do you have a checking account that requires a monthly fee?  Do you have to pay late fees after being lazy and missing a deadline?  Well, those can add up quickly and end up hurting you in the long run.  Let’s say you have to pay a $5 fee every single time you take money out of an ATM, and you take out money 10 times a year all four years of college.  Well, the actual cost of those fees can be much more than a simple $200.  If you were to put that same $200 in a stock fund (often done with retirement accounts) with an average return of 7%, those $200 end up costing you $1,522.45 over the course of 30 years!
  3. Pay Only Your Credit Card’s Minimum Balance
    The troubles of leaving a balance on your credit card can be well documented over the internet, but let’s take this a step further. Failure to pay your bill on time can result in a bad credit score, so not only will you be bleeding money from the overwhelming credit card interest, it can also impact your ability to buy future amenities (such as a house, car, etc).  Do yourself a favor – pay off that balance right now.
  4. Skip Out on Insurance
    Perhaps nothing can make your bank account bleed faster than when you’re not protected by insurance.  Whether it’s health insurance, car insurance or renter’s insurance, paying a small fee every month is great at protecting you and limiting your financial risk.  I’m not sure about you, but we’d rather pay a small fee every month then to replace both a plasma TV and a Macbook if we’re on the end of a burglary.
  5. You Don’t Take it Back
    We’ve all bought those frustrating items – the headphones that won’t work, the iPod Nano you simply don’t need (because you bought an iPhone a month later).  While we’re not one to tell you what else you could be doing with that money, we’re pretty sure you’d happily spend it elsewhere.  Get off the futon and go take those items back, after all, it’s your money.

Readers, have you recently realized you were throwing money down the drain?  What’d you do to prevent it from happening in the future?

One Response to A Simple Guide to Wasting Your Money

  1. Pingback: Top 10 – What I Wish I Had Known Before College « peertales

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