We’ve all heard the saying “Nothing in Life is Free.” But is that true when it comes to your company 401(k)? I think not.
One of my fondest memories as a child was driving to the credit union with my mom to deposit her paycheck. These trips were usually right after school. My mom and I would talk during the drive, meanwhile oldies played on the radio. Each time we walked into the credit union, I was always amazed at how the tellers seemed to know my mom. They would ask her specific questions about work and our family – things that only friends would seem to know or care about. Even as a kid, I could tell this meant something to my mom.
So here’s the deal: Debt is almost inevitable when you’re in college, even if you got a few scholarships or qualified for some financial aid. The truth is… Even once you pay tuition, you’ve still got housing expenses to worry about, and food. Maybe you have a car payment. Unfortunately, sometimes this whole “college experience” digs you into a little hole called “debt.”
It’s that time of year again! Time for you to purchase yet another gift.
It seems like just yesterday you were scrambling to the closest CVS for that special card / gift that says all of those nice things you forget to say every other day of the year.
The first week of college is here… You’re getting books, checking out the campus, and… signing up for a credit card for a free T-shirt?
Identity theft is nothing new, and yet it still manages to cost its victims billions of dollars (yes, that’s billions with a “b”) globally each year—not to mention the time and hassle involved in recovering a stolen identity.
The good news is
Credit is single-handedly one of the most important aspects of your financial life. Without credit, you can’t have a credit card, or buy a car or a home. It could also affect your future employment, depending on where you apply. With that being said, it’s never too early to start building credit.
Picture this… You roll over in bed, fumble for your phone and realize you’re late for class. Normally you’d just pull the blanket over your eyes and call it a day but today’s your political science final and if you miss it you’ll be stuck taking the course again next semester. And that’s not going to happen! You quickly hop out of bed, grab the closest pair of jeans and throw a shirt on and scoop up your keys, gum and deodorant. As you race through the kitchen you grab a granola bar and burst out the front door. “I’m going to make it” you mutter under your breath as you jump into your car and put the key in the ignition….then it happens. The engine sputters, the exhaust pipe lets out a loud pop and smoke begins billowing from beneath the hood. You sit there in silence watching smoke emanate from the front of your car while the bright red check engine light mocks you. Defeated, you slink out the car, slam the door, fall to your knees and let out a guttural yell.
In the spring of 2001 I found myself checking the mail daily, hoping that my very first credit card would arrive. My mom, who was always right – just ask her – had warned me of the dangers of having a credit card.
Commuting sucks. There, I said it. I lived on campus for about five minutes my freshman year. I loved it… Until I realized that I don’t like dorm rooms or bunk beds enough to pay $800/month. (Also, the food in the dining halls wasn’t as good as my mom’s.) I moved back home shortly. But, I will admit that commuting was difficult for me. That first semester, I lived at home with my parents, about 30 minutes from campus. Here are a few tips…