1. Make sure you have only one credit card.
2. Pick a bank with low fees.
3. Avoid the campus book store, and buy your text books online.
CLICK HERE for more of Mellody's money advice for college students.
Advice About Purchasing or Leasing a Car
When deciding whether to buy or lease a car, Hobson says the most important factor is how long you intend to drive it for. If you plan to drive the car for five years or more, it makes more sense to purchase the car.
If you decide to lease, here's what you should look out for:
Know how long the lease is for and the maximum amount of mileage you get.
Find out about any kind of special perks the dealer will give you.
Ask about early termination. What happens if you turn the car in early? Sometimes those costs can be quite high.
CLICK HERE for Mellody's advice on avoiding car loan debt.
Make sure you don't buy more house than you can afford -- don't spend more than 1/3 of your gross or pre-tax monthly income. That includes your mortgage, maintenance, taxes, assessments and association fees.
Make sure you look at that property at various times of the day, so you get a good sense of the noise, traffic patterns, vibrancy of the neighborhood and your new neighbors.
Get pre-approved by a lender. You'll know what you can afford and it's a great negotiating tactic with the seller.
CLICK HERE for Mellody's advice on lowering your property tax assessment if you own a home.
Saving for Retirement
The best way to save is through yuor company 401k plan or the equivalent savings plan at work -- you put away pre-tax money so your savings lower your tax bill.
Think about your debt -- the better you m anage your debt the more you'll be able to save, and you'll save in interest fees.
If you have a choice between saving for retirement or saving for your children's education, choose the former. Young people have plenty of time to pay back student loans, but if you retire without enough money you don't have as many options. If you don't put yourself first, you could be a burden on your children later in life.
Saving for retirement sets a good example for your kids.
CLICK HERE for tips from Mellody on how to make the most of your 401(k).
CLICK HERE for Mellody's advice on what to do if you and your spouse have different philosophies about saving.
CLICK HERE for Mellody's tips on how to raise money-savvy kids.