College educations have become synonymous with debt.

Students are spending more than ever to get their degrees and in this economy, money woes of the college student can take a serious toll. One of the most stressful things about college is the money factor: daily spending, monthly living expenses, and those very intimidating student loans. Practitioner and Certified Financial Planner Julie Casserly offers a few tips to help students make it to Christmas without investing a lot of stress into finances. 

  • Get a plan: Set a daily or weekly limit for you spending and stick to it. Spend half an hour each week devoted to figuring out spending. Write down where the most money is spent and where the least of it goes. Know exactly where money is being spent. Once that’s figured out, where to cut and where to invest will be much easier to determine. 
  • Set limits: Sometimes, the answer just has to be no. If friends want to do something that will cause a financial strain for the next two weeks, the answer is no. Set an intention to spend a certain amount of money each day, week or month and honor it. Once the max is hit, stop spending. 
  • Save a little: Being in college is almost synonymous with being broke. But students should save something – anything – every month. Students saving now can get in the habit of putting something aside. Even if it’s $10 or $15 a month, it’s building something. 
  • Stay away from credit cards: There are other ways to build credit than by getting a credit card. Credit cards aren’t for people who can’t afford to pay them at the end of the month. Students already have loans. Don’t add on more (with terribly high interest rates) with credit cards. 

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