CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - For many college freshman, weight gain and unhealthy eating habits can easily become a normal part of life.
But just as hard as the weight can be to shed, so can the extra financial pounds during college.
Financial advisor Nate Harrison says the first step in staying ahead is to make a budget and, much like dieting, developing a good budget is only successful if you stick to it.
"The better you stick to it, the better success you will have when you get out of school," says Harrison. "You won't have a big hole to dig out of and that's the importance of getting started earlier."
Harrison also says it's important to take advantage of your bank's free online technology and smartphone apps to help you manage your accounts.
"Smartphones now have mobile text alerts that will let you know if you have dangerously low balances, let you know when bills are due, and just to monitor everyday spending and fraud protection.
He says finding the right bank is similar to finding a gym - make sure it's a right fit.
While building credit while in college can be a good thing, think twice about getting high interest cards and keep spending to a bare minimum.
"Building credit is a great thing because you are going to need it later in life. Just make sure when you do it you are educated about the product you're signing up for, and make sure the product is one with an attractive rate," says Harrison.