Finances for College-Bound Students
- Graduation completed? Check!
- Dorm room selected? Check!
- ATM card for college! What? Get an ATM card?
Before you leave for college, you need to learn how to handle money. Here are 6 tips for you to consider as you prepare to go off to college in the fall.
- Open a bank account NOW and get an ATM card (if you don’t already have one). Make it a joint account (you and a parent.) That way you can get money quickly if you need it when away from home (in college).
- Learn how to check your bank balance from your phone. It is a good practice to check your bank balance before you get gas or stop by Starbucks, to be sure you have money in the bank for your purchase.
- Learn how to deposit checks. New technology allows you to deposit checks right from your phone. Great for those graduation checks you will receive.
- Create a budget. It is essential to have a spending plan. Know how much money you will have each month from your financial aid or from parents. With your parents, create a realistic monthly budget. Then, your biggest task will be to stick to your budget.
- Learn how to schedule & pay bills from your account. You might have phone bills or other bills you are responsible for. Learn how to pay on time and keep within a budget.
- Open a credit card account BEFORE leaving for college. Don’t be tempted by the credit card offers that you will see when you get there! Use this card as a “backup” only, and to help establish good credit.
Start developing good money management skills this summer, and you will have a great start to your freshman year in the fall.
Calculate your college budget. What is the amount used for “Personal Expenses”? Divide that number in 9 months to determine your monthly budget.