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Top 5 Money Mistakes College Students Make

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Written by CB Community

College can be frustrating and exhausting. Some say that this is the best part of your life, but no one really tells you about the everyday problems college students face. Yes, college will probably be one of the best and richest experiences you’ll have, but it can also be very challenging.

So, you’re in the best time of your life, the time where you’re completely free to screw up and explore yourself. Making mistakes is your problem and your right, which gives you the freedom you’ve probably never enjoyed before. However, with freedom comes responsibilities. The biggest responsibility and, at the same time, the biggest college student problem – is how to handle your money.

Whether you’re in your first college year or simply trying to find a way of making money in college or organizing your budget, we’re pretty sure avoiding the mistakes below will help you.

1. Choosing the Wrong Field of Study

People change and so do their preferences. You might have put a lot of thought into this or none at all. If it’s the latter, you might find yourself in a college that you don’t like or have any interest in.
Just think about it. You’ve literally invested a fortune into something you have no interest in learning. The worst part is, even if you get through it, you’d still have to work the field for the rest of your life.

Naturally, your first move will be to shop for college wisely. Consider your budget, find your preferred areas, brainstorm them rationally, and choose a college and a major only when you’re absolutely sure you’ve chosen the best one.

If you’ve passed this part and failed it, you’re stuck in a college you don’t like, paying for student loans that aren’t worth it. You might have suffered external pressure when you chose the college or were rushed into making a decision.  2 in 5 college graduates believe that their college wasn’t worth its cost. Whichever it is, continuing to spend all of your money and going into even bigger debt for a college or field you don’t like is simply – wrong.

Consider your options. Try to find out if you can change your field of study or your college. For instance, you may need to find an essay on teenage pregnancy, and taking the time to find the best one can save time in the long run. Picking a degree that’s wrong for you is a huge money mistake, but continuing with it is an even bigger one.

2. Accumulating Too Much Debt

Banks are difficult in their own way. They’ll offer you credit cards and entice you with reward programs or different kinds of cash-back incentives. This can be very appealing to everyone, but when you’re a student who already has student loans to cover, accumulating too much debt is a severe problem.

There are plenty of things you can do to ensure this does not happen. Avoid the cards with the high-interest rates, check the terms before you sign with a bank, stop paying only the minimum each month, and establish and track your credit history. You don’t just have to have good credit to get a college loan – you might need it in the future too, so consider it from the very beginning.
The best advice we can give you here is the most obvious one – use a budget. Creating a budgeting habit can be very hard for someone who’s on his own for the very first time. But, consider yourself lucky since you don’t have mortgages to pay or a family to feed – at least not just yet. This is the only and the best time for you to start a good budget habit. Create a budget for yourself, track your spendings, and simply stick to it.

3. Misusing the Loan Money

Most students have to take student loans to cover their living and studying expenses. Paying for a degree today is costly, especially since the interest in college education has grown. With it, the cost of college tuition has become too much and most parents can’t provide full financial support.

This is where another big problem arises. Very often, students misuse their loan money. They use them to buy things that aren’t essential and end up not having money to cover those expenses after all. If you want to go through college without the extra hassle, spend the loan money only for the necessary studying and living expenses.

4. Not Getting Your Money’s Worth

The absolute worst mistake you can make in terms of your money is not making it all worthwhile. Choosing the wrong college is a problem, but spending all your money and taking on loans for a college you don’t finish is disastrous.

You might be in the right college, but not make enough effort to be a great student. If you’ve invested a lot of time and money into your education, shouldn’t you try to be a great student? Try to get your money’s worth and ace your college subjects. Successful students do it all: organize their time wisely, study and pass exams, spend their money wisely, and even find the time to travel.
Focus on your studies and try to get the best of it. After all, you’ve spent a lot on it. However, don’t push yourself over your limit. From time to time, delegate your work in order to meet deadlines. Sometimes successful students need urgent dissertation writing help and by using trusted custom writing services to maintain a quality level of education.

5. Choosing Overpriced Education

Choosing the wrong field of study is one thing, but going for an overpriced education just because of the name of the school is what puts students in big trouble. In some cases, this will make a difference. However, you should not pursue this path unless you are financially ready for it.

Going into deep debt that you won’t be able to pay off for years after you graduate will be more disadvantageous than it is beneficial. Even if you gain a lot from the choice after a decade or two, you’ll lose a lot of time trying to find your way out of college debts.


Have you done any of these mistakes? If you have, it’s never too late to fix them. And if you’re new to the entire college experience, you better remember these five things before you choose your college or take on student loans. Keeping track of your money and organizing your budget is essential now that you are a college student. The freedom you enjoy comes at its cost and managing your money is definitely it.

For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.