Keeping a budget throughout college, for a lifetime is smart - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Keeping a budget throughout college, for a lifetime is smart

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Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 7:58 am | Updated: 9:03 am, Wed Nov 28, 2012.

Do you find it difficult to keep your spending under control? It isn’t an uncommon problem, and for many people, spending money makes them feel good. But like most things, you need to practice moderation. The best way to do this is by creating a budget. A budget will help you itemize, track, and see where your money goes. While this is a good start, it won’t cure your overspending habits.

College students should take time to write down what they are spending their money on and how much money they are spending before calling home to ask for more. It may be that some of the expenses are unnecessary.

Like any other habit, there are underlying forces at work, and until you understand what factors are enabling the habit, it can be difficult to break. Overspending happens for a number of reasons, but some of the most common driving forces are:

• Easy access to cash.

• Easy access to credit.

• Misuse of credit cards.

• Spending to make you feel good.

Once you identify some of the factors that influence your spending behavior, you can then focus on changing those specific behaviors. This will go a long way in helping you break the habit of spending too much money or going into excessive debt.

• Bob McDonnell is executive director of Arizona College Planners, L.L.C., a member of the College Planning Network, the National Association of College Funding Advisors and the National Association of College Acceptance Counselors. For questions, email

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