5 mistakes students can’t afford to make in college

Youth expert Anthony ONeal, along with #1 New York Times best-selling author and personal finance expert, Rachel Cruze, have co-authored the new book, The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in College, to help teens make smart money decisions that will positively affect their futures.

“I spend a lot of time talking with students about big life decisions they’ll face, and one of the most important is how to prepare for college,” said ONeal. “With the ever-increasing debt crisis in America, it’s never been more important for teens to learn the dangers of debt and how to manage money properly before leaving home. Through this practical guide, teens will be able to see that there’s simply no reason to go into debt for college, and they’ll be better equipped to make wise financial decisions that will set them up to win.”

In The Graduate Survival Guide, ONeal identifies five mistakes to avoid making in college. He provides authentic, real-life stories from himself and others that will help high school graduates recognize how these mistakes can negatively impact their financial futures. The Graduate Survival Guide teaches students how to make smart financial decisions during college, put into practice healthy money habits to keep them out of debt, take responsibility for saving money, spend with a plan, avoid student loans and pay cash for college instead.

  • Taking out student loans
    • College students are graduating with an average of $37,000 in student loan debt
    • With student loans, it’s very difficult to start life after college
    • Instead, once you’re done with homework and studying, before you hop on social media, spend time looking up scholarships
  • Using credit cards
    • There’s a myth out there that you need a credit card when you become an adult to build a credit score
    • One of the biggest mistakes I made was getting credit cards and financing everything
    • Debit cards do everything a credit card does, and you don’t go into debt
  • Making bad choices
    • ONeal says he travels the country helping kids see how the decisions they make today can affect tomorrow
    • This is everything from choosing a meal plan and not going to class to the friends they make
    • Small and big choices can set the course for your life
  • Not having a plan
    • Students need a plan for their money and for their lives
    • The plan for their lives has to align with their money goals
    • So if you’re saving to pay cash for college, it may mean saying no to something that doesn’t match their goals
  • Not saving money
    • This is a habit students should start early
    • This could be money from graduation or from work
    • Start with a $500 emergency fund then build savings based on goals

For more on the book and more tips from Anthony ONeal,  visit his website, www.anthonyoneal.com.