1. Financial planning. The best way to take charge of your money is to have both short and long-term plans. Clarify what your financial goals are, determine how you will reach these goals, and then take action to achieve them.
2. Create a budget and stick to it. This is incredibly important. Budgeting involves knowing what you have coming in and restricting what goes out by making a list monthly income sources (e.g. wages, parental allowances, etc.) and estimated expenses for the month. Try managing your budget and tracking expenses using an online personal finance management tool like Mint.com, which helps you easily create and stick to a budget.
3. Get organized. Create a filing system to keep track of financial paperwork and other important documents to help you pay bills on time and meet important deadlines. Keeping records also helps you identify errors in your financial records and recall important dates, for example loan repayments and bill due dates.
4. Protect your personal information. Don't give anyone your Social Security number, credit card, or bank account information unless you know why the individual or organization is requesting them. Review credit card statements and bills for unauthorized use. If you suspect fraud, call the company immediately. If you're a victim of identity theft, report it to the police and your bank immediately.
Clark Howard is a popular Radio and TV consumer expert. He gives advise on ways to save and spend less money, as well as avoid getting ripped off. In addition, he shows consumers how to prepare their finances for the future.
The site features articles and links to recommended services: http://www.clarkhoward.com/
BalanceTrack. (2009). Finances for college students. Retrieved from http://www.balancetrack.org/home/collegestudents/index.html
National Endowment for Finanical Education. (2011). 40 money management tips every college student should know. Retrieved from http://financialaid.ucdavis.edu/tools/PDFs/40ManagementTips.pdf