Now that you are on your own, you’ll be probably haunted by the temptation of spending money on everything your parents didn’t let you spend on before. Take it easy there. You got to make smart moves to stay out of the good advice troubles plaguing most young adults out there.
• Join a local credit union. Avoid signing up for random banks that giving away cheap t-shirts or funky frisbees at the registration. Find out a reliable credit union based in your town. For this, you should consider doing some research on online banks.
• Avoid getting credit cards unless they’re absolutely needed. Avoid being a sucker. The guys who sit behind sign-up tables aren’t there for helping you. They are there for making money.
• Avoid incurring non-academic debts. Though it sounds like a great idea putting that new Xbox on your credit card, it isn’t. You should try to master the art of developing great money skills using cash. Forget about credit.
• Indulge only after you’ve saved. When you feel like you can’t do with out Xbox, force yourself to save enough for it. Cut that extra burger or cigarette to save for it if you have to. And wait till you are able to pay in cash.
• Be on time with your bill payments. It’s a basic piece of advice, but it’ll surprise you how so many young dudes end up losing track of these things. When you pay bills just as they arrive, there will be less chance of forgetting them.
• Keep track of your spending. For this you can consider using a small notebook. Some students find it easier using Quicken. Good records always prevent us from overdrawing at banks or charging beyond our credit limits. This way you will also be able to have clear ideas on your spending patterns.
• Make your budget. But you don’t have to be fancy. At the beginning of every month, make an estimate of the money you’re about to receive. Moreover, decide where your hard earned money should go. And most importantly, don’t spend it if you don’t have to.
• Save the receipts. Just put those into a shoebox or under the bed if you must. Just make sure you’re holding onto them. You have to compare them with the statements that you get at the month end. Some receipts are so important that you should keep for more than a few years.
And finally, keep your vital stats private. Avoid giving out your SSN or credit card details unless the merchant is reliable and well known.