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Money Tips Students Wish They'd Known

Fastwebbers share their advice on money management and savings.


April 21, 2009

Money Tips Students Wish They'd Known

We asked Fastwebbers to pass on their advice about money management, based on their personal experiences. Here's what they said:

"Start saving, tell your parents you want to go to college, ask them to start [savings plans] for you now, before it's too late, and don't waste any time! As soon as you can, get a job. Don't blow the money on awesome stereo equipment for your car, or that ski trip you've been dying to take or Christmas presents. Dreams cost big. Are you prepared?"
-- Kacie Halonen, College of the Fraser Valley

"I have been through the tough money times, and the most important advice is... do not get a credit card! I made that mistake my freshman year in college. They were giving out giant bags of M&M's and I fell for it. Now I am still paying off this card, and when you're a broke college student the interest kills you! Coupon clipping and second-hand stores are also good advice."
-- Tiffany Coady, Oregon State University

"No matter how low your cash flow gets, do not apply for a credit card until you are out of college and on steady ground financially. Don't ever give your credit cards to anyone whose name is not on the contract. Finally, don't take the easy road to anything, because everything worth having in life takes a long, hard time to get - whether it's a college education or financial security."
-- Adreka Majors, College of Charleston

"Don't get caught up in the excitement of being on your own. Have some sort of savings plan for your bills. Don't be naive with your money; people really do want to get paid for their services and they will make sure they get it."
-- Jaime Woolley, Oakland University

"Ask your parents to help you learn about investing in companies whose products you consume. Become investors and consumers. I liked it so much that my grandmother wrote a book about how she taught me how to invest. If students start to learn how to invest, they can learn more about the financial world of the companies."
--- Danielle Flythe, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

"Don't fall into a credit card trap like I did. I've cut down on spending but the bills are still high. Once the bill gets out of control like that, it takes forever to pay off. The best thing to do is save. If you save, you might not be prepared for all the extra expenses but maybe you'll stay afloat better than I did."
-- Matalya Dowdy, Mount St. Mary's College

"First, apply for scholarships. Second, try to teach yourself to make a habit of saving. It is no easy task, but once learned it becomes much easier. Start with small things. For instance, if you're in the checkout line at the grocery store, ask yourself, 'Do I really need that pack of gum?' The small things do add up. This kind of self-discipline will help develop a habit of saving money, and it will help when you go to college."
-- Rachel Carpenter, Eaton Rapids Senior High

"Make careful decisions on your investments. Prioritize your spending according to your needs, not your wants. When a situation arises where you want to spend money, don't exceed your limits."
-- Jill Stender, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

"It is very tempting to want to have a credit card. Get a card with a small limit on it and do not get more than one."
-- Kimberly Hernandez, University of Connecticut

"The most important advice I could give is to study hard and to apply for scholarships. Student loans are helpful if you need them, but then you are in debt as soon as you get out of college. I would also say to listen to your parents. They are not as dumb as you think they are about money."
-- John Kaiser, Kansas State University

"I would advise anyone having trouble saving money to think to themselves: 'Do I really need this?' If the answer is yes, buy it; if the answer is no, return it! Someone else could probably use it more, and you might need the money for something more important!"
-- Julie Hunt, North Branch High School

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