MoneyMoments | MidFirst Bank

College Student Tips

Top 10 Money Tips Every Freshman Should Know

As college students head to campus for the fall semester, money management should be on their personal syllabus. College students should treat personal finance like a second major and avoid unnecessary expenses now to reduce financial burden when they graduate.

Here are ten tips to help college students form a strong foundation for money management:
  • Create a budget. This may be the first time you are responsible for managing your own finances. The first step is to create a realistic budget or plan and stick to it.
  • Watch spending. Download a budget app to track your spending by category. Pace spending so that your money can last throughout the semester.
  • Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of building credit. How you handle your credit in college could affect you well after graduation.
  • Take advantage of bank tools. Online, mobile and text banking tools help you manage your account night and day. Use these tools to check balances, pay bills, deposit checks and monitor transaction history.
  • Use only your bank’s ATMs. Avoid fees by using ATMs owned by or affiliated with your bank. If you must use an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank, make larger withdrawals to avoid having to go back multiple times.
  • Look out for money. Apply for scholarships, and look for student discounts or other deals.
  • Buy used. Consider buying used books or ordering them online. Buying books can become expensive, and used books are often in just as good of shape as new ones.
  • Find free fun. Limit your “hanging out” fund. College campuses offer many free activities for students.
  • Expect the unexpected. Things happen, and it’s important that you are financially prepared when you get a parking ticket or your computer breaks down. Start putting some money away immediately, no matter how small the amount.
  • Ask. Managing your money in college is a learning experience, so if you need help, ask. Your parents or your bank are a good place to start, and remember – the sooner the better.

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