Weatherford Democrat

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August 18, 2013

EXTENSION NEWS: Financial tips for college students

(Continued)

• Watch the cell phone use. Do you really know what your plan is costing? Text-messaging can increase your costs, so be sure to select a plan that meets your needs and your budget. If you are having regular phone service connected, remember that it is not required for you to sign up for a long-distance service. You could use a phone card instead. Comparison shop for the lowest per-minute phone card cost.

• Staying connected. In college, computer “connectivity” is important. If you are living in a dormitory, high-speed internet may be included in your total cost. If you live off-campus, consider your options; some apartment complexes may offer wireless or high-speed connections.

• Buy used text books if they fit your textbook requirements. Sell them at the end of the semester if you do not care to keep them for reference or to build a professional library.

• Get information from your financial aid office even if you do not have a student loan. The offices usually stock information on budgeting, economizing, and managing credit.

• Pay your credit card in full every month. Don’t charge everything. Set rules for yourself. People who use their credit card for “everything” tend to spend more money and often it is money that they do not have.

• Be wary of credit card solicitations. You only need one credit card. Some will give you gifts or other premiums. Too much open credit damages your credit history. Comparison shop for a credit card if you don’t presently have one. They are not all the same. Look for a low APR, no annual fees and low/no extra fees and charges. Pay special attention to how your interest rate will change if you are late in making a payment. Pay credit card bills on time in order to avoid late fees – paying online may speed up payments.

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