Are you one of the millions of college freshmen headed off to school later this month? If so, your August might be packed with shopping, packing, and going away parties. College is an expensive couple of years and it can become even pricier with poor spending habits. By starting good money habits now, you will be better prepared for handling your finances after you graduate.
Start forming a strong foundation for money management by following these tips:
Create a budget. You are an adult now and you are responsible for managing your own finances. The first step is to create a realistic budget or plan that you can stick to. Follow our budgeting guideline to help get you started.
Watch spending. Keep receipts and track what you are spending your money on. Use an automated tool like CardValet to monitor your spending so that you can be sure that you are staying within budget.
Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit in college could affect you well after graduation. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs.
Take advantage of your bank’s resources. Franklin Savings Bank offers online and mobile banking to manage your account day and night. Use these tools to check balances, receive account alerts, pay bills, transfer money, deposit checks, and monitor transaction history.
Lookout for money. There is a lot of money available for students — you just have to look for it. Apply for scholarships, and look for student discounts or other deals.
Buy used. Consider buying used textbooks or ordering them online. College textbooks can become expensive and often, used books are in just as good condition as new ones.
Entertain on a budget. Limit your “hanging out” fund. There are lots of fun activities to keep you busy in college and many are free for students.
Use only your bank’s ATMs. Avoid fees by using ATMs owned by or affiliated with your bank. Franklin Savings Bank is part of the Allpoint Network, which gives customers access to over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.
Expect the unexpected. Things happen, and it is important that you are financially prepared when your car or computer breaks down or you have to buy an unexpected bus ticket home. You should start putting some money away immediately, no matter how small the amount.
Ask. This is a learning experience, so if you need help, simply ask.
There you have it — our top ten money tips for college freshmen. Did you know that you can subscribe to our e-mail newsletter? Sign up so that you can stay connected with Franklin Savings Bank when you are away at school.