Three Financial Tips for Incoming College Freshmen

August 5, 2014

by Michelle Perry Higgins

Start Shopping for Long-Term-Care Insurance at 45Here’s the financial advice I would give to students starting college in September.

1. Set up a student bank account.

Entering college comes with many new responsibilities, including being accountable for your money, whether acquired from your parents or from your own efforts. Setting up a bank account is a good place to start! Keep track on a regular basis of what goes in and what goes out–balance a checkbook! Also, make sure you understand all of the account fees and their justification before signing up. In addition, setting up an account will make it easy for your parents to send you money; the best way to do this is to find out what banks have branches located on your college campus, and then see if any of them also have a branch in your hometown.

2. Learn to budget your expenses and don’t overspend.

Make a budget and stick to it. Here are some small ways to get the most out of what you have:

– When you go out to eat, order an appetizer. Appetizers are usually meant to be shared by a party of four, yet are cheaper than an entrée.

– Buy as much food as you can in bulk (from Costco if you can), and don’t waste any of it. If fruit starts to go bad, then freeze it and make it into a smoothie later.

– Buy a Brita so that you don’t waste your money on bottled water. Also, soft drinks are a luxury you cannot afford.

3.      Save money on buying books.

Do not ever buy a new book. New books are extremely expensive. Most universities have an unofficial Facebook page where students can sell used books to each other for cheap. Also,, (an eBay company), and will soon become your favorite websites. Why? They will rent you a textbook for the entire semester at a dramatically lower price.