When I first started college not only was I scared out of my mind, but I was worried about money. How was I gonna pay for necessities? How does a debit card work? How much interest am I paying on loans? All of these questions replayed through my mind on a constant loop. Keeping track of your budget and maintaining a comprehensive financial plan was completely foreign to me. I'll let you in on a little secret though, it's not scary at all! First thing I suggest doing is opening up a checking account if you haven't done so already. It makes life so much easier! If you land a work study job on campus, you can choose direct deposit and all the money you make will go directly into your checking account, rather than having to cash checks in every two weeks. I like to make weekly graphs in excel to keep track of my budget. If you don't want to do it manually there is a template called "College Budget". It's so simple and it illustrates exactly how much you are able to spend on maintenance and other supplies. Now my trickiest thing was the dreaded loans! I use Sallie Mae because their interest rate is a lot lower than other competitors. Also if you choose automatic debit, which just means they take the monthly amount out of your checking account, then you get a 0.25 % interest rate deduction, and it actually makes a difference. Lastly be smart! Don't spend a ton of money on food if you have a meal plan. I would just take bread and fruit from the dining hall, so that way all you need to buy is some peanut butter and jelly. That way you have yourself a meal or a delicious (and nutritious) snack! If you have enough clothing already please don't buy more, I've made that mistake too many times. As hard as it may seem no retail therapy! That's basically it, if I can survive and get through the madness we call the real world, so can you! Just remember these tips and by the time you know it you'll have enough money to buy a car or even start paying off the loans. Good luck!