October 11, 2019 • 4 mins
Being money-smart starts with basic financial planning. Follow these guidelines to set yourself up for success in college – and for lifelong financial well-being.
Creating and sticking to a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. Know your income, plan for your needs, and track your expenses.
The right checking account can help you manage your money conveniently and securely. Look for an account that offers:
To avoid overdrawing your account, it’s essential to keep on top of your balance, which is easy to do with online banking and mobile apps.
Open a savings account at the same time. A savings account is a great place to budget for larger expenses. Saving additional money regularly, however big or small, can add up over time to help you prepare for unexpected expenses too.
Having a good credit score is important because it will help you get an apartment and make borrowing cheaper for larger purchases like a car or a home. Many employers also check credit scores when hiring – so it could help you get a job too.”
Apply for a student credit card – and then use it wisely. Having a credit card in college has two distinct benefits: it gives you extra security in case of a financial emergency and helps build a good credit history (when used properly).
Having a good credit score is important because it will help you get an apartment and make borrowing cheaper for larger purchases like a car or a home. Many employers also check credit scores when hiring – so it could help you get a job too.
To build your credit responsibly:
If you can’t pay off the card one month, revise your budget and cut expenses to pay off the balance as soon as you can. And if you find you’re not being responsible with the card, close it. (Don’t worry – you can still make payments on your balance after closing a card.)
If you’re 21 or older, you can apply for a credit card on your own. Otherwise, you’ll need another adult, such as a parent, to cosign for the credit card application. (This makes the parent responsible for any unpaid debt and can impact their credit score if the card is not managed properly.)
Source: Broadridge Financial Solutions, accessed June 14, 2019.
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