7 Spring Break Money Wasters
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- In the busy and stressful lives of American college students, spring break is often seen not only as a break from daily reading and problem sets, but also as a break from the prudence and moderation necessary to be a model student.
But while the fuzzy memories of drunken debauchery fade mercifully over time, the financial hangover can be much harder to escape. Mitchell Weiss, an author and 35-year veteran of the financial services industry, began teaching a course on financial literacy at the University of Hartford six years ago and has seen students come back from spring break with a mountain of money problems to deal with.
|If you can't avoid the temptation to go get drunk on the beach this spring, you can at least avoid the financial hangover afterward.|
"I've had students come back and talk about every type of problem imaginable," he says. "They've been ripped off, overspent, misunderstood promotional offers or mismanaged group payments. By far the most common issues, though, are overdraft charges and ID theft issues."
Responding to what he saw as a lack of information for students, this year he published Life Happens: A Practical Guide to Personal Finance from College to Career, which he now uses as the blueprint for his class.
He shared some of the most common mistakes young people make that can turn spring break into spring broke.
1. Paying overdraft charges
Nobody wants to ruin a spring break experience with an OD. And we're not talking about drugs here, but rather the bane of every low-net-worth person: overdrafts. The biggest culprit, for Weiss, is overusing debit cards, which are subject to holds that tie up money in users' bank accounts even if they don't end up spending much on a particular transaction.