A little planning can help young adults spend less as they go off to college or move out and get more value for their dollar.
Cellphone. Avoid overage charges with an unlimited plan. For example, with Cricket Wireless, you can pay an affordable monthly fee for all-inclusive talk, text, data and music rate plans for some of the most popular smartphones available. Cricket also includes a service called Muve Music that gives students unlimited song downloads as part of their plan. Learn more at www.mycricket.com.
Food. Coupons and digital deals can cut the costs of dining out. Look into the college meal plan – and use it. Save on snacks by stocking up at the grocery store instead of buying from a vending machine or convenience store.
Clothing. Thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales are affordable ways to find something fun to wear.
Entertainment. Encourage them to take advantage of free activities on campus with their student ID. When going out with friends, advise your student to decide how much he or she can spend, then only take that much money with them.
Be smart about credit cards. Many students sign up for a credit card right away, and before they know it, they are thousands of dollars in debt. Make sure they understand interest rates. Also, discuss setting limitations on using a credit card to avoid non-academic debt, such as using it only for emergencies, travel or school expenses, or only charging what they can pay back on time the next month (including interest).