Loans, Credits and Debt, Oh My! Following the Dollar Sign Road to Financial Stability

Todd Mark gives teens advice on becoming Financially independent

The financial strain dumped on college aged-students when starting independence is a product of a variety of expensive factors.

Between paying off the extreme cost of universities, affording new living areas and buying means for transportation, adapting to newfound independence is never an easy task. Todd Mark, financial advisor and former host of CNN’s Dollar Sense, knows all too well of the abundance of costly aspects that come with what he dubs the ‘Age of Acquisition.’

“During the Age of Acquisition, the reason we call it acquisition, is you’ll going to be acquiring stuff for the first time,” Mark explains while discussing the demands put on college students. “Because that’s the basis of Age of Acquisition: things that maybe Mom and Dad did for you but now you’re like “Alright I’m being an adult, I gotta do this on my own.”

However, acquiring said stuff proves to be a highly formidable and taxing task for the vast majority of youths. “You’ll need to acquire your adult clothes…you won’t just need a bed, you’ll need pillows, you’ll need to have sheets,” Mark list when elaborating on all the necessities graduates must afford, “You’ll need to have tables and chairs to eat at.” While this all seems very discouraging to future college freshmen, there are several advisable methods to juggle with living cost.

Having this knowledge, taking independent living in stride becomes an accessible achievement.

“Once you know some of your major fixed costs — rent, utilities, student loan, cellphone, etc. — it’s time to put them down on paper (or on a computer spreadsheet or savings-oriented website) and create a monthly budget,” writes Charles Passy from the respectful financial tracker and reputable website Marketwatch. “If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to establish a checking account and/or savings account so you can manage your money.”

Indeed, while taking your first steps alone is sure to be meant with an onslaught of struggle and understandable stress, in doing so you ensure that one day, money troubles will be a dreaded thing of the past.  Having this in mind, Samuel Butler said “Independence is essential for permanent but fatal to immediate success.”