Ten money management tips for students

Learning good financial habits at a young age can help set you up for future financial success. Here are ten money management tips for students:

  1. Learn about credit. Talk with your parents and your financial institution about using credit cards or a student line of credit. They will discuss the responsibilities associated with these forms of payment and help you establish and maintain good credit when the time comes.
  2. Read your statements. Every month, you can view a statement of your spending activity. Learn how to read these statements and pay attention to the fees you are charged on your account. Is there another account that would better meet your needs? Can you change the way you pay for items to reduce fees?
  3. Develop a spending plan. Money can burn a hole in your pocket if you don't have a plan for it. Creating a spending plan - otherwise known as a budget - helps you decide where and how to spend your money.
  4. Save for a rainy day. Don't spend every penny you have; set some money aside to use for emergencies. You never know when your car will need new tires, or your cell phone will break.
  5. Get into Online Banking. If keeping track of your finances seems boring, you should try Access Credit Union's online or mobile banking service. Online banking makes it easy to keep an eye on your account balance and can be fun to use. Getting into the habit of regularly checking your balances can help you rein in on your spending now and for the rest of your life.
  6. Know your income and expenses. Simply put, know how much money you have to work with each month (paycheck, allowance, birthday money, etc.). Keep receipts so you can track how and where you spend your money. Pay attention to what you purchase each day and decide what spending habits can stay and what should go.
  7. Compound interest will make you rich - if you let it. When you save or invest money, it earns interest. And then that interest - well, it earns interest too. All it needs is time. That's why it's a good idea to start saving money as soon as you can, even if it's only $5 or $10 a week. 
  8. Identify your wants and needs. Food, shelter, and clothing are basic necessities, but we have other needs too. To some, a cell phone is a must; it's necessary to stay connected with family and friends. However, a phone that is the newest version is a "want", not a need. You need clothes to wear to school or work, but expensive brands aren't a necessity. See the difference?
  9. Set goals for big ticket items. Now that you're saving for unexpected expenses, you'll also want to save for expected expenses. These items could include a car, graduation items, or post-secondary schooling. Keep a portion of your income to meet these savings goals.
  10. Don't try to keep up with everyone else. If your friends always seem to get the hottest new gaming system or designer jeans, it's hard not to feel jealous. Keeping up with others is a never-ending battle; someone will always have something newer, faster, and shiner than you. Appreciate what you have and move at your own pace.

For any additional tips or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us or visit your nearest branch.