The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Pay it now or pay much more later

Viewpoint by Shelly Williams/managing editor

A dollar is a dollar no matter what is done with it. Students today have lost sight of the fact that though it’s only a dollar, it’s best to stretch that dollar as far as possible.

Many students use loans for college, but those loans must be paid off sooner or later. Some have the added expense of a car payment, rent, bills and families to think about.

However, plenty of us like to feed the little shopaholic monster inside, splurging on unnecessary items or spending money on things we think we need.

It may not be cool to bring a lunch, but buying lunch items, like ramen noodles, in bulk from Costco or Sam’s Club can save money that can go toward rent instead of stressing to make ends meet.

In an article by USA Today, a quick cup of coffee every morning for $2 can easily add up to $700 a year. The article said that Brandy Burke, a student at Sam Houston State, ended up with $500 in credit card debt her sophomore year.

“I spent most of my money on eating out,” she said in the story.

USA Today quoted a study done this year by Sallie Mae — a college financing company — that said about 84 percent of undergraduates own credit cards. Seniors in the study averaged $4,100 in credit card debt.

That’s in addition to student loans. Average student loan debt is around $20,000 for public universities and $28,000 for private, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Though the American society thrives off unnecessary purchases, if college kids looked at spending habits and saw where they could save money, some of that extra cash could pay off that student loan more easily.

With the rise in college tuition rates and the downfall of the economy, money can be tight. Students should use credit cards wisely and save by tracking their expenses to see what burns a hole in their pockets.

Sure, treating yourself to something nice is fine, but students should remember to watch how much they spend now to protect their future.

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