15 Money Management Tips
Every College Student should Know!
#1 " Get Organized"
- savings and investments
- financial aid
- credit records
#2 "Protect Your Information"
1) Do not give anyone your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number unless you know why the individual needs them
2) Do not throw away papers that reveal important financial information on them (cut them up or use a paper shredder)
3) Do not send your credit card number over the internet unless you know the website is safe. You must be extra careful when you are purchasing items online.
4) Keep your credit card and ATM receipts in a safe place
5) review your credit card statements and telephone bills for unauthorized use
6) Always report identity theft or suspicious behavior (weird bills)
7) Remember: YOU CAN NEVER BE TO CAREFUL
#3 "Do Not Bounce a Check"
Definition: A bounced check is a check that cannot be processed because the writer has insufficient funds. A bounced check will often be returned to the writer with a penalty fee for non sufficient funds.
Note: Your bank may notify other banks about your check-bouncing habits and this can cause them to refuse banking services to you in the future.
How to avoid this problem?
- before sending a check make sure to record it in your checkbook register and subtract it from your balance
- Do not assume that your account balance at the ATM is correct because some of the purchases may not have been processed yet.
- Always compare the checking account statement sent from the back to your own checkbook calculations
- KEEP YOUR RECORDS SAFE
#4 "Take time NOW to prepare for a career"
- No matter how far off graduation seems to be, always attend on-campus interviews and career fairs
- Take advantage of the career center
- Get your resume ready
- Use online job resources to research companies that have jobs in your field of interest
- Figure out the salary of jobs your research, include taxes
- learn hoe to analyze benefits
#5 "Choose a meal plan and stick to it!"
Also try to save on snacks; instead of buying snacks from a vender machine, buy them from a grocery store and save them in your dorm room. Buying food in larger quantities will save you money over time. Make sure to check with the college if you are allowed to have a small fridge in your room before purchasing snacks.
#6 "Use the Dorm's Computer instead of buying your own"
Note: Some colleges require the students to bring their own computer
Things to consider if you bring your own laptop... (Negative aspects)
$ Cost $
- Maintenance and repair costs
- frequency of use
- Busy times
#7 "Compare your living options (Dorm vs. Apartment)"
Before making a decision where you live you must balance and review the negative and positive aspects of both living situations. The costs for off-campus housing can add up quickly. So to decide if it is going to be cheaper to live in the dorm or off campus you should consider the following.
- renter's insurance
- household furnishings
- parking fees
#8 "Set ground rules regarding money"
1) COMMUNICATE with your roommates about money issues
- this is important if you are sharing an apartment because there are many money issues involved and ways to share the costs.
will you by the food together? Or share the bill at the end of the month?
- how will you share other household staples?
- What if you disagree about the temperature? If a roommate wants to turn up the heat?
-What if one of the roommates damages the apartment? and the landlord refuses to return your security deposit?
-What if one of the roommates moves out before the rent is due?
Important: these issues can cost a lot of money
Need to COMMUNICATE...put agreement in writing and have everyone sign it
#9 "Resist Peer Pressure"
1) Write down all long term goals and how a college education will help you reach them
- read them often and remind yourself WHY you have made the financial commitment
2) Go with your friends to free or low cost college events
- ex: lectures, dances, sporting events, movies
3) Keep track of how much you spend on EVERYTHING
- if you are spending more then you can afford then you need to make CHANGES
4) Do not be afraid to say "NO, I can not afford to do that"
- many students do not have a lot of money but few want to emit it
- being honest sends a strong message to your peers and friends
- shows you are confident and responsible
#10 "Separate needs from wants"
EX: Food would be a need but a large latte from Starbucks would be considered a want
Yes, after cramming for a test, coffee sounds like a need but gourmet coffee is a want
EX: A cellphone is a need for personal safety but custom ringtones and apps are a want
When faced with the hard decision of whether or not the item/object is a need or want; you should consider the following...
- Can you live without it?
- Can you afford it?
- How important is it to you?
- How does it improve your life?
- How does it affect you?
#11 "Take control of your credit card"
Important steps to take...
1) Keep only ONE major credit card
2) Shop around for a card that has...
- no annual fees
- lower interest rate
- 20 to 30 day grace period
- avoid cards that charge a one time processing fee and cards with low introductory interest rates that shoot up in a few months
go to... bankrate.com
3) consider purchasing a credit card that's secured by a bank deposit
- can help you get used to handling credit while building a good credit history
4) DO NOT charge anything you can't pay for right away
- if you have a real emergency, allow yourself three months to repay the charges
5) mail the payments several days before they are due so you will not be charged a late fee
- pay the entire balance
- if you can not pay in full then pay more than the minimum due to keep interest charges down
6) Credit card = loan
- before you use the credit card take a moment and think "would I really go to the bank and take out a loan for this."
7) Subtract your credit card purchases from your checking account
8) DO NOT use a cash advance from a credit card unless you have a serious emergency
#12 "Build good credit"
STEPS TO TAKE....
1) Pay basic expenses, ex: rent and utilities on time
2) make loan and credit card payments on time
3) pay loans before you spend money on other purchases
4) apply only for the credit you need
why? if you apply to often, lenders might think you are financially troubled
5) DO NOT BOUNCE A CHECK
Note: Credit reporting agencies keep track of you debt and how you pay your bills
- they usually provide this information to businesses when you apply for a loan or job
#13 "Get help if you get into debt troubles"
1) you do not know how much money you owe. yes or no
2) you use credit cards to pay normal bills. yes or no
3) you borrow from one credit card to pay for another. yes or no
4) you make only the minimum payment on you credit card bill. yes or no
5) you miss payments or you pay bills late. yes or no
6) creditors telephone you to ask where their money is
7) you get a job just to pay off your credit card. yes or no
- If you answered yes to more then half of these questions, it is time to talk to someone!
- dorm's resident advisor
- financial aid officer
- contact a nonprofit debt counseling organization
ex: national foundation for credit counseling (www.nfcc.org)
- parents and guardians
#14 "Pay yourself first"
- This means you first put money in your savings account before you spend it on other things such as bills
- DO NOT worry about the amount you start with
- every penny counts! and if you stick with this plan it will eventually add up
- also, if you save it in an account that earns interest then it will grow even quicker
-include savings as part of your spending plan or budget
- have your employer automatically deduct money from your paycheck and deposit it into a savings account
-pay any tax refund, raise, bonus, or gift you receive into savings, NOT spending
- put 1$ a day plus loose change into a jar and count it up at the end of the month for your savings account
- set GOALS for your money
- set aside some money for emergencies
#15 "Learn about your options for saving and investing money"
- offered by banks and credit unions
- low minimum deposits
safest places to put your money and earn a guaranteed rate of interest
Money Market accounts:
- offered by banks, credit unions, and mutual fund companies
- work like checking accounts
- pay higher interest rates than savings accounts
- require higher minimum balances
U.S. savings bonds:
- when you buy a savings bond, you are loaning money to the government for a set period of time
- government agrees to pay you a specific interest rate
- higher than a savings rate
Certificates of deposit (CDs):
- loans to the institution from which you purchase them
- typically offer higher interest rates
- require you to keep your money in them for a set period of time ( 6 months/ 1 year)
- small pieces (shares) of the company that issued the stock
- over a long period of time, stocks tend to generate higher rates of return
- loans to the government agency or company that issues them
- promise to pay interest on your money until the bond matures
- you pool your money with other people's money and become part owner of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other assets held by the fund