Students have a lot on their plates, and with so many immediate matters demanding
attention – attending classes, studying, quizzes, exams, work, maintaining a social life – personal
money management commonly falls to the bottom of the priority list. The irony? Money plays
into every aspect of life, especially for students! Sure you’ve studied hard to get an A on that last
test, but if you aren’t directing your financial situation, you might find next semesters’ upcoming
tuition bill too big to handle. Thankfully, there’s good news: as busy students, there are a ton of
unique ways to ensure that you not only stay on top of your grades, but also be on the ball with
your personal finances!
For those of you unaware, weekly/monthly planners are a super big aid while in school.
Plus, if you search hard enough, you can find free ones being distributed all over campus (hint:
keep an eye on the Union at the beginning of semesters). Of course, most students use such
planners to keep track of important class dates, and sometimes, local campus events; however,
school planners don’t have to be restricted to school-related information. Try recording the dates
of when you know bills are due, as well as reminders a day or two before, and only scratch it off
as complete AFTER the bill has been paid. If you stay diligent to completing the tasks listed, you
won’t have to worry about paying bills late ever again.
If you prefer tracking your expenses with a pencil and paper, that’s awesome, but for
those of us who lack the patience and time to write down every penny, there’s a ton of tech to
help out! It would amaze you how many free websites exist that can help you manage your
money, without much effort on your part. For example, mint.com will not only track your expenses (and categorize and analyze your spending distribution), but also enable you to work towards financial goals, keep tabs on your investments, create customizable budgets, and calculate your net worth! You phone, that small little device that never leaves your side, is another tool that you can use. Aside from setting recurring alarms to help you remember important expenses, why not surf the app store and select an app to help you manage your finances? There are free applications dedicated to all aspects of finances, such as apps for saving, budgeting and investing (e.g., PocketsPoints, Groupon, GasBuddy, Campus Special, Penny, Wallaby, Acorns, etc.)
Do you ever wonder what your student fees go to? Student resources! The reality is, you
pay for the available services of students resources, whether or not you take advantage of them.
So why not see what they have to offer? Not to mention, once you leave the university, you’ll
lose access to all of the great help student resources has in store. When it comes to personal
finances, the best service to work with is the Personal Money Management Center, which is
dedicated, through one-on- one counseling, to helping you manage your money and achieve your
goals. But in addition to the PMMC, you can find assistance with Student Services, Student
Wellness, Career Services, the Counseling Center, and so many more. You’ll also find that many
of these resource centers office scholarships and grants throughout the academic year, with the
intent to better help you fund your valuable education.
Everyone manages their finances differently, and often times, finding the technique that
works for you requires some trial and error with several methods. But how you manage your
money isn’t what’s important. What matters is that you do it, in whatever way you feel comfortable. If you haven’t dedicated much time to managing your money in the past, don’t be intimidated by getting started now. Committing to start is the first step, and there are plenty of tools to help you along the way. If you are looking to get started, and want some guidance, schedule to meet with one of our certified personal financial counselors at the Personal Money Management Center. Getting added control over your financial situation is truly liberating, and we promise you won’t regret it!