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Breaking Bad College Credit Habits

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School is around the corner, and for some, steering clear of a whirlwind of extreme credit spending is easier said than done. With so many things for students to spend money on in today’s world of instant gratification, funds are constantly leaving wallets.

Believe it or not, at least 50% of students have four or more credit cards, and 84% of college undergraduates have one credit card, according to Collegeparents.org. So many students are charging small things to their cards. College Parents also revealed that 84% of students used cards for food, 70% for clothing and 69% for cosmetics. So, when it comes to looking nice and ramping up aesthetics for social settings, many don’t hesitate to swipe.

The spending doesn’t just stop with apparel and cosmetics, a survey from Shweiki Media and Study Breaks shows that college students spend 99% of their money on restaurants, 87% on trips and travel, 70% on bars, 70% on fashion, 60% on electronics, 59% on live music and 57% on media (books, magazines, apps). We all know the social scene is a huge part of the college experience. Of course, with a portion funds going towards drinking and entertainment it comes to no surprise that constant student spending may surround some of the smallest things like coffee which runs up to $3 per drink and if consumed every day adds up to a yearly cost of $1,008. According to research, there is an annual amount of $11billion spent on snacks and beverages combined. When it comes to alcohol, there is $5.5 billion spent annually by students.

With so many consistent unneeded expenses, costs can rack up more than expected. Take a look at some of our simple tips to help keep you in tip-top credit shape this coming college semester: 

 

Follow a Budget:

Budgeting oneself may not always be fun, but at time necessary. Take a look at all of your monthly and annual needs, as well as your incoming income. Stick to a budget instead of trying to “Keep up with the Jonses.” Money may seem like it is always there when you have a credit card, but sometimes keeping yourself from spending what you don’t have is best route to go.

Pay Credit Bills on Time:

With a slew of academic responsibilities, sometimes monthly payments can go under the radar, but this occurrence is something you want to keep from happening. Pay attention to what you put on your card, and if needed, set alerts for yourself to remind you of pending payments. More importantly, don’t put on your card what you know you can’t pay off at a consistent rate. Noncredit payments can come back to haunt you in a negative way with your credit score later on.

Review Bills and Credit History:

Take time to track your past spending and bills. There may be some things listed that may have seemed important when you purchased it, but looking back may be unnecessary. When you circle back around, you may find dinners you could of done without or clothes you didn’t need. When you recognize your non-necessities, maintain discipline to prevent spending in those areas. 

 


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