College is expensive enough without adding mistakes to the experience. Just ask mom and dad.

With your son and/or daughter off to get that degree (Gee, seems like they had their first day of kindergarten just a couple years ago), it's easy to lose sight of financial sense. You know what I mean, it's a lot of fun today but, as they say, the day comes when someone has to pay the piper.

The Omaha.com website had an article about the 5 costly mistakes a college student can make:

1) Overusing A Credit Card. While it would be best to avoid this little plastic money grabber altogether, it might make sense to have one in the back of the wallet or purse for emergency use. But parents may want to clearly define for that young 'un what 'emergency use' means.

2) Falling To Peer Pressure. You know your kid is going to make friends with another kid who comes from a family with, uh, deeper pockets than you have. There's going to be a big temptation to follow that friend out to the expensive stores and businesses and drop more bucks than they should.

3) Not Having A Plan. Yeah, yeah, it's an old worn out saying...People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan. Problem is, this one is true. Have your college kid agree to a budget. Now, he/she may not always stay inside it, but at least they have a money goal.

4) Missing Out On Scholarships. Wait, what? Your son/daughter isn't in high school anymore so it's too late for scholarship money help, right? Wrong! There are still plenty of scholarship bucks available. Tell your kid to talk to their academic advisor or financial aid officer.

And

5) Buying Whatever They Want. Independence. It's a great thing, getting out from under the thumb of parents, getting out there into the 'real world'. But you and I know independence without limits can mean money chaos. Maybe that expensive fancy named cup of coffee is OK once in a while, but do you really have to sip one everyday? It's true...sticking to that budget, that plan, can help you reach your goal.

And mom and dad will really appreciate it too!


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