Posted at: 06/11/2012 5:23 PM
Updated at: 06/11/2012 8:13 PM
By: Tim Sherno
Financial Mistakes Freshman Year Can Have Long-Term Consequences
Student loan debt isn't the only burden students carry after graduation.
College freshmen who are financially undereducated can make mistakes that have long-term consequences. Nicole Middendorf is a financial advisor and CEO of Prosperwell Financial. Middendorf says students and their parents need to have budgets that go beyond student loans.
"Ninety-eight percent of the American population doesn't have a budget," she says. "I haven't met a college student that has a budget. But that's the goal."
Angela McCollow is a senior at the University of Minnesota. She says when she was a freshman, she purchased a meal plan, but often ate off campus.
"And the meal plans are pretty expensive," she said. "I didn't use them to my advantage as much as I could have."
McCollow estimates that eating off campus cost her between $3,000 and $4,000.
David Wrobleski is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. He says his biggest financial mistake was paying too much money to have access to his own cash.
"If I didn't bring money with me somewhere, I'd find just any ATM and then I would have to pay $1.50 to $3.00 in fees."
Middendorf says the average college student graduates with $4,100 in non-student loan debt.
"I always believe you learn best from your mistakes," she said, "but you can prevent some of those things."