If we wanted to, we could probably come up with hundreds of ways college students throw away money. I know. I made a lot of mistakes when I was younger!

Honestly, you will thank yourself for spending some time here.

Students are heading back to college now so let's focus on some of the main reasons why college can be a financially tough time for a lot of them.

  1. You Pick the Wrong College
    If you're thinking of an expensive school, first consider going to a community college for a couple of years and then transferring to the expensive school for the remainder of your education. Your degree will still be from the expensive school. Also, seriously consider if you really need to go to that out-of-state school. Look closely at state schools. Big tip: if you're already at a school you can't afford, start looking for a cheaper institution right now, before you load yourself up with too much student debt!

  2. You Haven't Checked out All the Student Financial Aid Options
    Financial aid means money in your pocket. Obtaining part-time work does too. If you don't work a job while in college and don't look very hard for other financial aid options, you are taking money right out of your own pocket. Every year, millions of dollars of available financial aid are not applied for in virtually every state. Don't let that money go to waste. Check out fafsa.ed.gov for more information on obtaining financial aid in the U.S.

  3. You Think Credit Cards Are Free Money
    A lot of credit card companies want students to think that! And it's easy for you to think that way too when you're away at school and other students are flashing their cards like it is play money. Credit card debt chases more kids from school than nearly any other form of debt. Here's how to stop that: leave your credit card in the back or bottom of your purse or wallet. Use only cash. Use your card for emergencies only.

  4. You Don't Stick to Your Budget
    Does your friend have the newest smartphone or gaming console, and you don't? Everybody's going on a road trip for spring break, but you don't really have the cash. A night out on the town, but you're broke? Plenty of reasons for students to spend money that should be allocated elsewhere, like tuition, books or food. Don't borrow money from friends or lend money to friends (you may never see them (or your money) again!). If you haven't made a budget, make one right now. Then stop spending when you've reached (or before you reach) your budget limit.

  5. You Impulse-Buy, Constantly
    You may be impulse buying every day, and even the smallest impulse buys add up fast. Buy bottled water every day rather than filling up from the tap? You can throw away $100 a month, gulp by gulp. And get this: if you don't break the impulse buying habit now, you could throw away half-a-million-dollars in your lifetime! Don't believe me? Check out FoolProof's "Gullibility Project".

Need Help?

Do you need help getting your budget and your money under control?

No worries. We have a tool to help you: FoolProof Solo. FoolProof Solo teaches you all about money and the tough realities you may face when living on your own and/or while in college.

Sign up for an account, and start working through our "Burning Money" module on budgets, our "Sucker Punch" module on credit cards, or do your wallet a real favor and work through all the Solo modules.

Honestly, you will thank yourself for spending that time on Solo. It will help you keep your money in your pocket!

Good luck out there!

Cheers, Will