Spring Break Money Mistakes

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Spring is only a couple of weeks away, which means parents don't have much time left to educate their kids on good spending habits before trips to Cabo and Cancun. We all know that college students get a little reckless on their spring breaks, but how much can that recklessness cost them financially?

According to BillShrink.com, the average college student spends $1,100 a week on spring break, and less than half of that is spent on lodging and transportation. It might just seem like the cost of having a good time, but BillShrink has found several key mistakes that are likely to contribute to this number.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that spring breakers make is keeping their bar tab open. While it’s fine to do this at home in a bar you frequent, on vacation, you could easily end up footing the bill for friends and freeloaders, not to mention “accidental overcharges” from bartenders who confuse your tab with the dozens of others they’re managing. Similarly, BillShrink recommends that you take a close look at your bill before you sign it, or you may end up paying $100 for three drinks.

Another big mistake vacationers make is being overzealous with their credit cards, racking up charges and occasionally going over their credit limit. But, according to BillShrink, students would do better to pay for as much of the trip in cash as possible since consumers generally spend a more conservatively when they have to watch dollars physically disappear from their wallet.

So, before you wave goodbye to your college students, remind them that they might be eating ramen noodles for the next few months if they don’t manage their money well during spring break.

—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the BankingMyWay.com Credit Center.

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