Broke!: A College Student's Guide to Getting By on Less

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9780743252102: Broke!: A College Student's Guide to Getting By on Less
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Want to know the secret to living on less while having a great time at college?

College students give you the scoop on:

  • How to save money on housing and food
  • Earning fast cash (legally of course!)
  • Managing a budget
  • Scoring a great travel deal

And much more!

Benefit from their wisdom...

The best time to buy an airline ticket online is around 3 AM or 4 AM. This is when companies update their systems and lower prices on tickets that aren't selling.
-- Junior, Biology, Carnegie Mellon University

Don't rely on the paycheck coming on Friday to cover a check you wrote on Tuesday.
-- Senior, Biology, College of Charleston


And learn from their mistakes:

I didn't know how hard it is to get your landlord to give back your security deposit. Keep really good records and make sure you document damage already in the apartment or your landlord will stick you with it.
-- Senior, Public Relations, Brigham Young University

A couple of classmates were stranded in Mexico because the travel agency "forgot" to mention that in the fine print it says that only airfare TO Mexico was included in the price, not the airfare FROM Mexico.
-- Junior, History/Pre-Law, Ohio State University

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

5
Credit Card Charges

You've heard the horror stories about college kids who have charged up huge credit card bills that they can't pay. Don't fall into the trap. Before you pull out the plastic to pay for a DVD player just ask yourself if you have the cash to back it up. If you don't, you could end up damaging your credit. Let's take a step back from the adrenaline rush of spending and examine the ins and outs of credit.

In addition to having the ability to buy things the minute you need them, credit cards offer several advantages:

--"You don't have to carry cash.
--A record of purchases is created.
--It is more convenient than writing checks.
--It helps you to establish a credit history, which is necessary for the future purchase of high-cost items (house, car, furniture, etc.)."

"College Budgeting: What Is Credit?" 2002.

Students Say: Card Control

"My advice is to use the credit card once, then put it in a bag of water and freeze it, then get it out two months down the road and use it for gas or something you know that you can pay for, and freeze it again. This builds your credit history, but you don't have direct access to your card so you can't run up the bill."

--Senior, Spanish/Anthropology, University of South Dakota -- Vermillion

"Good credit has helped me with everything from getting utilities turned on in a speedy fashion to getting approved for my dream apartment. It was and continues to be totally worth the effort I put into it."

--Junior, Communications, Drexel University

"I have two credit cards in my name, though my parents are primary cardholders. I always pay my bill on time and it helps to build a credit history. Employers as well as lenders look at credit histories."

--Sophomore, Economics/History, Tufts University

Students Say: A Credit History Lesson

"I suggest all college students try to get at least one card in their name to help build credit. When you graduate and need to rent an apartment or buy a car it will give you some form of credit history. Just make sure to use it responsibly."

--Graduate, Communication and Culture, Indiana University -- Bloomington

"Realize that if you have a bad credit history, it will be difficult to make any major purchases -- such as that dream car. It's all about good credit . . . so don't get into any debt!"

--Junior, Biochemistry, Beloit College

"Always pay off your entire balance each month to insure you have a good credit rating when you graduate. Always pay on time and never leave a balance. My credit lines started out at $1,000 per card. They were up to about 10 grand total by the time I was done, and I had no problem getting an apartment in my name after graduation."

--Graduate, Hospitality Business, Michigan State University

"Good credit is better than having money in the bank because you can LIVE LIKE A RICH MAN AND PAY IT OFF LIKE A POOR MAN!!!"

--Senior, English Literature, St. Edward's University

When Good Credit Goes Bad

There's also the flip side to credit card spending -- when you start depending on credit to get by. Remember, there's no such thing as free money.

Know The Facts:

--"83% of undergraduate students have at least one credit card.
--The average credit-card balance for undergraduate students is $2,327.
--Students double their average credit-card debt -- and triple the number of credit cards in their wallet -- from the time they arrive on campus until graduation."

"Undergraduate Students and Credit Cards: An Analysis of Usage Rates and Trends." Nellie Mae. April 2002.

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