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Money Management Tips for College Freshmen

As high schools across the country prepare for and hold their graduation ceremonies, the graduating students are now looking forward to the college years. These outgoing seniors from high school and incoming freshmen in college will be put in an independent situation for the first time in their lives.

But while such independence is often exhilarating for the young adults, mature adults understand that with independence comes responsibility, namely financial responsibility. Financial responsibility entails a host of different items, but mostly it can be summated into being wise with expenditures, careful with savings, and handling money with care.

Start With Managing Your Money

The first thing that a newly independent freshman college student can do to become financially responsible and to begin to learn how to manage their money well is to understand the aid that online money management tools can give. Most banking institutions can provide a form of online banking and money management tools so speaking with one’s bank may be the best place to start learning the online tools available.

Online money management tools are effective for many different reasons. One of their primary functions is to assist in the creation and adherence to a budget.

Budgeting has long since been the foundation of proper money management and the backbone to financial success. Without a budget, college freshman especially are vulnerable to over spending and wasted resources.
Creating a budget for the first year of school is a relatively simple task. A college freshman can begin by examining all of the necessary expenses that they will be facing for their first semester at school.

Typically these expenses will include such things as rent, meal plans, textbooks, and transportation costs. After list all of the known expenses that will be incurred over the course of the semester, a college freshman can total that cost compared to what they will be earning every month from their jobs.

Once the necessary costs of food and shelter are accounted for, the remaining money from income can be distributed among other items in the budget such as for savings and entertainment. Beyond helping a college freshman to create a stick to their budget, online money management tools serve to help the student in all forms of financial responsibility.

Set Up Your Online Budgeting Tools The Right Way

With the online tools available, a student can set alarms for bill pay or set up an automatic bill pay service for the regular costs of things such as rent or utilities. In addition, an online money management tool offered by a bank or independent third party will help to assist the student see their total money map, or where their money is being spent, and thus allow them to make changes to their expenditures where necessary.

Along with the aid of an online money management tool, an incoming freshman student can help themselves to regulate their spending and learn quality money habits by using prepaid debit cards or debit cards from their traditional checking or savings accounts. Prepaid debit cards are especially handy for a freshman student because of the fact that prepaid cards eliminate the likelihood of incurring credit card debt.

Consider Using a Prepaid Credit Card

While still maintaining the effectiveness, usefulness, and convenience of a credit card, a prepaid debit card does not allow for an inexperienced young freshman to make big time financial mistakes while using their card. This is made possible by the fact that a prepaid card is a card that has a set amount of prepaid money allotted to the card.

In this way, a prepaid card only allows the card holder, in this case a financially novice freshman, to spend the amount that is on the card and therefore prohibits incurring debt. Prepaid debit cards teach a college freshman how to responsibly handle money by not giving them the temptation of false or fake money that credit cards allude to.

Instead, with a prepaid debit card, a college freshman will be able to regulate their own spending by understanding that there is a set limit to the financial backing on the card. Prepaid debt cards do usually come with a high startup fee initially, however, so those who are considering using one for their freshmen year should shop around for the best deal on a prepaid debit card.

Or, if they choose, an incoming college freshman may wish to use their debit card that their bank gives to them upon the setup of a checking account. Often checking accounts at banks can be set up for little or no cost with a specified minimum to begin the account.

By using money management tools online and using prepaid debit cards or debit cards from their bank a college freshman will be able to learn sound money management techniques. And by learning how to manage their money early during their first year of independence, freshmen will be able to set good financial habits that will aid them throughout their lives.

Learning to Budget Your Money

It is a concept that has been taught in schools and homes across the nation but, for whatever reason, creating and implementing an effective budget continues to be an underutilized aspect of responsible financial practices among a lot people. Those who have found how effective proper budgeting can be will never again try to “wing it” from paycheck to paycheck because they have been able to not only pay off bills and expenses but many have also been able to start saving more money every month.

When one considers all of the positives associated with planning and keeping a budget and all of the negatives that come form improper spending due to the lack of a budget, the only real excuse for individuals to not have and maintain an effective budget is because of ignorance on how to do it. Knowledge, as the old adage goes, is power. So the same is true when it comes to money and finances. By know how to appropriately budget incomes with expenditures, an individual and a family can begin to establish financial security within the home.

The first step in creating a budget is to know exactly how much money is coming into a home and how much is going out. Collect pay-stubs and bills to weigh how much of every paycheck must go towards paying essential bills and needs such as food and clothing cost. If there is a deficit or if there is little money left over after subtracting the income from the expenditures then some of the services represented on the bills will have to be cut. This may mean losing cable or internet service or even selling a car that cannot be afforded.

With money left over after paying bills and allocating food costs, a family can then explore saving options. These can be discuses with financial professionals who will help you to determine what types of plans would be most beneficial for your needs. By properly budgeting income a family can save otherwise wasted money.

Successfully Creating a Budget – Part 2

A budget is necessary to build wealth, eliminate debt and cut your expenses. Many people find that creating a budget can be a very stressful task, but it doesn’t have to be.

A simple way to describe a budget is to ensure you do not spend more than you make. It is very easy to overspend if you don’t know what your expenses are. As you are preparing, consider the following tips and tricks when creating a budget.

In part 1- Successfully Creating a Budget, we discussed some of the first steps you need to take to create and stick to a budget. As a refresher, the points covered in part one are:

  • Determine your assets
  • Calculate your income
  • Identify your recurring payments
  • Calculate your net worth
  • Determine your monthly expenses

Once you have completed the first steps, you are ready to put your data into a workable budget. At this point you need to establish a spending pattern and start creating a personal budget that will allow you to pay your bills, and establish a savings cushion. You will need some sort of database to help you track your budget. There are many different ways to track your budget. Research different methods to find the best way that suits you and your budget.

Evaluate Your Bottom Line

Once you have established the database of your choice, enter your financial data. This will help you get an idea of whether you are living within your means, or not. This analysis will help you decide how lean and mean your budget needs to be to help meet your financial goals. When creating a budget plan, it’s important to keep it organized through a database.

Be Realistic

Gas prices rise and fall. You might get a raise, or get laid-off. Life will always throw you curveballs and you will need to adjust your budget accordingly. In leaner times, your entertainment category may shrink to non-existent. The important thing is to remain realistic so you can be prepared for life’s challenges. It’s important to always have an emergency fund that is used for emergency situations and times.


Just because your budget is established doesn’t mean you’re done there. It’s vital to track and monitor your progress to ensure you stay within your budget goals. Being persistent will ensure you don’t overspend, and are able to save.

In today’s world, it’s vital to keep a budget to help you weather life’s challenges. With a well-designed budget, you can grow your wealth. We hope you have learned a lot will start successfully creating a budget. Thanks for reading!

Successfully Creating a Budget – Part 1

A budget is necessary to build wealth, eliminate debt and cut your expenses. Many people find that creating a budget can be a very stressful task, but it doesn’t have to be.

A simple way to describe a budget is to ensure you do not spend more than you make. It is very easy to overspend if you don’t know what your expenses are. As you are preparing, consider the following tips and tricks when creating a budget:

Determine Your Assets

It’s time to identify how much money you have available. At this stage, it’s important to look at your income, and all your bank accounts. Make sure you understand the interest rate you’re paying, along with any expenses associated with the accounts. If you don’t know how much money you have available, you will not be able to have a successful budget plan.

Calculate Your Income

It’s important to understand how much you have coming in on a monthly basis. When learning how to create a monthly budget, it is really important to determine your income accurately. At this stage, you will determine your monthly income. If your job hours vary and you can never be sure how much you’ll make in thirty days, look through your past pay checks and figure out a minimum that you can reliably expect to receive. Make sure you are calculating your budget with correct numbers. If you list that you make more than you actually do, it will negatively affect your budget.

Identify Your Recurring Payments

The next step to a good budget is to understand what recurring payments you owe. It is important to know all of your recurring payments when creating a budget. Make a list of the payments you have, such as:

  • Mortgage
  • Credit cards
  • Car Payment
  • Student Loan
  • Utilities

Include the total amount owed, minimum monthly payment and interest rate. By listing your minimum payments, you begin to see a picture of your financial health.

Calculate Your Net Worth

Now that you have an idea of your average income and average payments you can determine your net worth. At this stage, subtract what you have (assets in accounts) from what you owe (payments) and the result is your net worth. Ideally, your budget should allow you to end up worth more than you owe.

Determine Your Monthly Expenses

Now that you have an idea of your net worth and your average monthly income, you are ready to determine your recurring monthly expenses. For this stage keep your receipts, utility bills, gas, food, and any other expenses over a one month period. Divide the bills into categories that make sense for you. For example:


In our next blog entry, we’ll discuss the next steps toward establishing a workable budget, and some tips and tricks to help you whittle away some payments and pay off your debts faster than you ever thought possible. We hope you have learned a lot on how to create a budget.

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