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Financial tips for Spring Break

Posted by Jill Boynton  March 16, 2010 10:12 AM

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March is Spring break time, when thousands of college students head to warm climates for week of sun and fun. However you don't want to be carefree and footloose with your money. Here are some tips for smart spending:

1. Figure out how much money you have to spend during the trip so you know your budget.

2. Plan on using your debit card, or your credit card only if you know you can pay it off in full when you return. Students typically have very high credit card rates, and your trip can easily cost double or triple if you charge it and then pay it off in increments. For example if a $500 charge on a card with a 20 percent interest rate is paid off at $10 per month, the total cost will be $1,040.

3. Pack the hotel room – sleep as many as you can to a room, but be sure to check with hotel management before doing so. You want to adhere to their rules.
4. Buy your own food. Find a local grocery store and buy a cheap cooler to bring at least drinks and snacks with you during the day.

5. Limit alcohol consumption. This is not only for health and wellbeing purposes, but because those fruity drinks are very expensive.

6. Don't bring all your bank and credit cards. Bring only one card and keep very good care of it, along with your ID and/or passport.

7. Use ATMs sparingly. Most likely you will be paying a fee to use an out-of-network ATM machine. Take out enough money to last you 2-3 days to limit these fees.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Local finance professionals share insights and advice on issues such as budgeting, managing debt, and retirement planning.

About the contributors

D. Abraham Ringer is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner and a Financial Adviser with Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management in Boston. He is registered in MA, NH, NY and several other states to which his articles are directed. For more information please visit
Financial Planning Association™ of Massachusetts has 900 members who specialize in the financial planning process. Many of its members engage in philanthropic pro bono work in their communities, recommend legislation, elevate public awareness, promote financial literacy, and advocate for sound economic and tax policies.
Odysseas Papadimitriou is the founder of, a credit card and gift card marketplace, and, a personal finance site. He has more than 13 years of experience in the personal finance industry, and previously served as senior director at Capital One.

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