Money Management: Just Getting Started?
Ah to be young - but there is definitely a downside. Being green with "the green stuff," in this economy, is not only scary, it's also pretty hard to learn the best ways to do right with your money when hardly anyone else knows what they are doing anymore.
You just need to learn it all on your own - invent your own rules - because this is one lesson everyone is learning now too. So think of your "lack" of knowledge in money management as an advantage, since you're not an old dog trying to learn new tricks.
Go ahead and sit down to make a budget, first and foremost. You don't have to be ultra-perfect or even specific - just being aware is often quite enough to set your spending straight. Speaking of being aware, one fantastic idea is to sit down every night and write down how much you spent that day.
To help you remember every purchase, mentally add up the total before you walk up to the register. Just that tiny little extra bit of effort will ingrain the number in your mind, and you will remember how much you spent with much more accuracy.
You may also want to consider going on "just cash" for a while too - especially if you live in a dorm. An ATM card doesn't provide very much protection if something goes wrong, especially since it is directly tied to your money. Not to mention it is pretty easy to lose track and overdraft.
Instead, keep your ATM card in a safe place and withdraw what you need once or twice a week until you can get a credit card. Just be sure to use your credit wisely once you do sign on that dotted line.
Last but not least - definitely do put some money aside. I know you want the newest iPhone and that extra special sparkly whatever - but trust me on this one. In a few years, you'll wish you had that padding.
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