1. Make Your Money Last All Semester
You may feel rich with all that student loan money in your bank account but it’s important to remember that you have to make it last for several months not several weeks. Make a spending plan for the next several months. List your fixed expenses like rent, cell phone, utilities. Then list variable expenses like food, transport and entertainment. Know what you intend to spend and what was spent by tracking your spending on a phone app. Finding you are spending too much on study coffee or eating out? Set a daily or weekly limit and stick to it. If this still doesn't make sense take a look at our blog, "Why a Budget is Necessary"
2. Don’t Rely on “The Bank of Mom & Dad”
If you are lucky, your parents may have helped you out from time to time financially. Don’t assume they will always be there to bail you out if you get into financial trouble. Part of maturing is being responsible with the monies you are given and living within your means. Parents have to do it too!
3. Never Share Your Pin#
It doesn’t matter who you trust, never share your PIN # or leave the # written down in your wallet. It is your responsibility to protect the monies in your account and the bank will find you at fault if you shared the PIN#.
4. Stop the Tap & Go
Most debit cards allow you to tap your card at a retailer to debit money from your bank account. While quick and convenient, it also makes it easy for someone else to use your card without authorization especially if you lose your wallet. Contact your bank and remove this function. Another tip from one of our other blogs, "Coffee with Financial Advice", is to only use cash so it's easier to track what your spending as cash is tangible tender.
5. Banks Are Businesses
Banks charge interest on credit card purchases, bank loans and fees on overdrawn bank accounts to make money just like every other business. While a student, most banks will not charge you banking fees. However, when you leave school expect this to change and be aware that the account may now have service fees which can add up over time. Shop around for the best account and credit card for you. Look at your credit card statement every month. Know your due date and pay more than the minimum each month, otherwise the balance will never be paid. Most minimum payments only pay the interest payment only. Paying bills on time and watching bank balances will save you money in the long run and build your credit score.