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Going away to college and leaving home for the first time. That can be pretty exciting scary, and confusing all at the same time. You are going to be faced with many new things, changes, and of course responsibilities.

You are going to learn many life lessons and probably the biggest lesson is how you handle your money.

Every bodies life is different. Usually when you are living at home most of the money making decisions are made for you or at least you can seek guidance from your parents.

All of a sudden in college you are making money decisions on your own. If you aren’t careful you might find yourself without much money. That is not a good situation.

Making smart decisions with your money not only helps you during college but also sets you up for life. Here are some ideas that might help you with some of your money decisions.

Know Where Your Money Is Going

This is the start of your budget. Make a list of all the mandatory monthly expenses you have. These might include rent, food, utilities, transportation, parking fees, school supplies, loans or credit card payments, and maybe student fees.

Pay Yourself First

Once you know where your money is going each month give yourself some spending money and then find a way to put a little bit of money in a savings account. This develops such a great habit.

Now matter how tight things are put some money away.

Get Organized

You need to keep all of your receipts in one place. Use a filing system. Separate things by month and by categories. You can use an accordion style filing system or just plain manila folders. Make sure you balance your bank statement every month.

Become Cheap

Start looking for little ways to save money. Get in the habit of becoming frugal with your money. If you are not on a food plan pack your lunch. Ride your bike to school or walk. Try not buy your textbooks new. Find used ones or look to trade books with people.

Try Not To Go Into Debt

College can be very expensive. You might be in a position where you are borrowing money to attend to school. Student loans start adding up so make sure that is the only debt you have coming out of school.

Be careful with credit cards. Credit card companies are very good at targeting college students. They do if for one reason. They know for many of you this would be your first credit card and you are more than likely going to get in a position where they are making money on you with the interest.

These are just a few ideas and tips. If you follow these you should be in good shape financially during college and in your life beyond college.

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Source by Mark J. Nelson