Transitioning from high school to college can be a major adjustment for students, as well as parents. At MAX, we feel it is our responsibility to help our customers and the community prepare for each stage of their financial journey.
If college students will follow these five smart tips, they will be on the road to financial success.
- Create a budget—and stick to it. Learning to wisely manage their money now will give students a huge head start for the future. The most basic way to begin a budget is to take monthly income and subtract monthly costs and expenses. The goal is to always make more than is spent and tuck money in savings.
- Understand wants and needs. Unfortunately, consumers have unlimited wants and limited resources. It is important for students to realize the expenses that are absolutely necessary—rent, utilities, and bills. By always prioritizing needs over wants, students will not find themselves asking their parents for additional funds at the end of the month.
- Don’t eat out regularly. One expensive “want” for college students is dining out. While it’s true that they have to eat, paying for daily meals at restaurants is rarely the wisest use of money. If students have access to a kitchen, encourage them to learn to cook. If they don’t, taking advantage of their school’s dining plan can be a cost efficient and convenient solution.
- Play up the student status. Many places—especially in college towns—offer generous student discounts. Students should not be afraid to take advantage of these offers.
- Establish credit history. If students are nineteen or older, they should consider applying for a credit card. The card should be used only for what they can afford to pay off at the end of the month. This helps students gain an active, positive credit history without paying interest. MAX keeps credit cards simple—with convenient card options, low rates and easy to understand benefits. Taking the time to understand how to manage their finances can be one of the most valuable life skills students attain in college, and with our Explore Account—checking designed just for students—MAX is always here to help!