College is an awesome opportunity for educational advancement, as well as personal and mental growth. There are few places where you'll find an environment of like-minded peers all striving for the same goal. At United, we want to help maximize your college experience and allow you to focus on what's truly important. You can't perform at your best when you're bogged down with financial stress, so we've put together a couple of tips to help you manage your finances. Get ready to take an extra elective… class is in session!
Build a Spending Strategy: 50-30-20 Rule
A spending strategy is intended to help you manage your money and save for emergencies. An excellent example of a spending strategy is the 50-30-20 Rule. This principle boils down to the basic concept of splitting your income into three percentage-based categories, 50% on necessities, 30% on wants and 20% toward savings. The strategy allows a great deal of flexibility and adjusts based on changes to your budget. A solid spending strategy establishes an effective way to see an immediate increase in your financial stability.
Helpful Hint: Don't have a budget yet? Click here to access our budget builder tools.
Utilize the Services Available
Being a college student can be a rather financially humbling experience. However, in that humility, you'll find resourcefulness. There are several services and perks that only college students have access to. Knowing all the services available to you is a powerful, money-saving resource—a prime example is your student ID. The student ID is an underutilized tool that can help you save quite a few dollars. Your ID can get you discounts on tech, clothing, dorm decor, food, entertainment and even banking. Certain retailers offer considerable discounts to help college students, so don't be afraid to use your college student status to your advantage and help improve your finances.
Cash Cut Off
Whether it's one too many online purchases or a night out on the town, overspending is a reoccurring trend for many college students. Implementing the cash cut off method (CCO) will help reduce your daily spending. The CCO methodology revolves around the concept of only spending the cash you brought with you, forcing you to be more concise with your spending. Once the money runs out, so does your spending. The CCO helps establish a financial boundary, and knowing your spending limit generates a need to be more fiscally responsible. Your frugal spending will decrease, which will result in an influx of cash in your savings.
Taking charge of your finances in college will help prepare you for your post-graduation life. Use these helpful tips to kick start your future today!