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10 Money Mistakes To Avoid As A College Student


Thinking about your financial wellness during College will set you up for success. Numerous adults now are trying to undo the mistakes made during their time in College.


Which is not fair for young adults who did not learn from their family or school about personal finance.


Here are 10 money mistakes to avoid as a College student:

1. No budget:
Regardless of how much you are earning, you should always budget. A simple budget such as knowing how much you bring in and subtracting your needs will equal how much you have left over. Having this clarity of numbers early on can help you avoid overspending. I want you to always be in control of your money.


2. Not building a savings:
The extra money you have whether is $20 or $100 can help during a rainy day. It does not have to be all or nothing. Emergencies happen to everyone but there is a difference in how you react to them. Savings can help you process an emergency as an inconvenience rather than a big fire. Build that savings early on!


3. Signing up for a credit card on campus:
This is very messy! Banks target College students by tabling and passing out food in exchange for signing up for a credit card. Do not do it. There is free food at events on campus that you can attend but giving out a credit line to a college student who may not know how to manage their finances is wrong. They are making money from you by giving you a high interest rate card because you are new to building credit.


4. Spending on wants over needs:
Spending on wants over needs will keep you stressed, always. Focusing on needs allows you to put your extra money in savings for rainy days. This is more of a discipline. Practicing to spend on needs will build a habit to prepare you after you graduate from College.


5. Ruined credit score:
Do not spend more than you can afford. If you do not have the money in cash, it is not a purchase you should be making. Credit scores are grading you on how you are doing with debt borrowed. If the credit line is $1,000, banks expect you to only use $30.


Here is how banks break down the score:

  • 35% Payment History – Lenders see this as a sign of trust.
  • 30% Credit Utilization – If you go above 30% credit score decreases.
  • 15% Credit History – Lenders want to know how experienced you are with managing your credit.
  • 10% Derogatory Marks – Hard inquiries. Bankruptcies. Foreclosures.
  • 10% Total Accounts – Diversification (ie. loans, credit cards)


6. Failing Classes:
Be honest with yourself about the workload you are about to take. Failing classes will cost you money. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it!


7. Overdraft fees:
Things happen and you will overdraft from time to time. Know that you can call your bank and explain what happened and when you get paid next to bring your balance to good standing. Very often they understand and reverse the fee for you or only charge you half of the fee. Do not be afraid to over-communicate with your bank in hopes that they can do something for you. Some banks are not charging fees nowadays so do the homework on what bank will work for you.


8. Not seeking financial help:
Seeking help is intimidating, I get it! What do you prefer?: to be stressed in debt or put your ego aside and be a student in the personal finance space? You decide.



  • You can find resources on your bank’s web page.
  • This one seems less intimidating and your county’s library often has a series of money conversations online that you can join from anywhere!
  • Find a money coach on a social media platform that you identify with and go over their content, you will learn a ton!


9. Accepting loans you do not need:
It’s very easy to accept the loan as easy as a click of a button. You will enjoy the money in the moment but know that the stress and anxiety with paying it off comes in the next 3 years. It is not worth accepting loans that are not to pay for college tuition. By avoiding this mistake you are putting yourself in a great starting point after graduation.


10. Opening A ROTH IRA:
You don’t know what you don’t know. I am here to tell you that this is the best thing you can do for your future self. As soon as you start working start investing in a ROTH IRA with whatever extra cash you have because compound interest will do its job! Letting your money grow while you sleep is the best. Do not believe the “getting rich quick” scheme, invest for the long term.


Here is what it looked like for me:

I made all of these mistakes! As I sink into my seat right now. I wish I had known all of the above so my financial wellness after college was in good standing.


I chose not to live in the past and decided to turn my money story around.


I will be the first millionaire in my family.


I paid off $30K of consumer debt in one year and a half.


I am currently still paying a $15K student loan I did not need to go to the Dominican Republic. Would I do it again? NO.


I am $30K away from investing my first $100K.


I spent years learning how to pay off debt. I am learning to manage my emotions when my student loan wants to haunt me because I am investing in my future. I refuse to waste any more years without compounding interest that outweighs the 3% in student loans.


I learned so my sisters and my community did not have to make the same mistakes. We are leveling up!


When we work together:

  • I help you put a budget in place that works for you.
  • I help you place a plan that pays off the debt.
  • I help you think about money as a tool to elevate your life


If this resonates with you, I want to invite you to work with me to build wealth today so you can live your best life. Book a sales call.


I cannot wait to be part of your journey!


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Orlenda Cortez

Welcome to my corner on the internet! I’m obsessed with using money as a tool because it led me to pay off $30K in consumer debt in a year and a half, helped me save $20K in nine months to have my dream wedding in Costa Rica and is helping me build the life I never saw my family experience. Now I want to help others do the same!

Orlenda Cortez
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