Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Off To School We Go!

It's August. That means that by the end of the month, most or all students will be back in the classroom, starting another year of education. Especially for college students, this means trips to the bookstore to buy texts and other course necessities.

As a college instructor for the last 13 years, I have seen first-hand how many students are undisciplined when it comes to spending. This is particularly true when it comes to the use of credit cards. Some students have cards in their own name; others use their parents' cards. Either way, this can be a dangerous situation and a bad spending habit that can last a lifetime, without careful consideration and advice.

Many credit card companies and banks are aware of the naivete of these young men and women as well as their desire for instant gratification. For several years, representatives of these companies would show up at campus student centers and "invite" students to sign up for their cards. In many cases, this led to hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars of debt, on top of student loans. Sadly, many parents were not aware of this excessive debt until it was "too late."

So my advice to students is to avoid these salespeople should you see them on campus. Also, if the cashier happens to throw a credit card application into the bag along with your books, tear it up and throw it out ASAP.

Parents, be aware of your child's spending habits, especially if he or she is away at school. Monitor this very carefully. Don't be afraid to ask how they are buying things, what they are buying, etc. In this case, ignorance is NOT bliss - it can lead to pain: in the wallet!

I wish students and teachers a successful academic year!

1 comment:

  1. I believe I'm the first commenter. Thank you for your helpful advice.