For many young adults, leaving home to attend college is the first taste of adulthood and responsibility. Starting off on the right foot financially can set you up for long-term success, but staying on top of things takes willpower and a certain amount of know-how. Here are a few tips that will help you have enough money for the end of the week!

Budgeting is Everything

If you were to sit down and track your spending habits, you’d likely be shocked by how much you spend in a month. We tend to fixate on the bigger purchases we make, which can cause us to forget about all the smaller purchases that can really add up. In college, keeping track of your income and spending habits is crucial to your financial success. From the onset, you should create a budget that encompasses your entire spending habits, from food and school to recreation.

  • Create a list of all your sources of income.
  • Create a list of all your expected expenses.
    • Make sure to include things like school supplies, food, travel, laundry, and other nonessential expenses.
  • Make sure to set aside a comfortable amount for savings.
    • Getting started now will help you build a safety net for the future.

Take the 5 Minute “Create a Budget” Coaching Session offered by ALLIANCE HERE:

Curb Unnecessary Spending

Exercising restraint and learning how to distinguish between needs and wants are both very crucial to keeping financially afloat while attending university. While the expensive textbook might be mandatory for your college curriculum, do you really need to buy an expensive pair of tennis shoes as well? Learn what is a necessity and what isn’t. Instead of eating out every meal of the day, try to stay in and cook or take advantage of on-campus meal plans. If there are two ‘needs’ try and discern which one is the most crucial and save for the other.

Setup a Checking Account

Many financial institutions offer accounts designed specifically to meet the needs of college students. Credit unions are not-for-profit and work to help students save on fees while offering credit counseling and accounts that build credit for the future. Make sure to compare your options. Finding the right financial institution for your needs will really help you to establish good financial habits from the start.


Be Smart with Credit Cards

College is a great time for you to start building your credit. You will likely receive many offers for credit cards beginning the day you turn 18. However, the convenience of a credit card is a double-edged sword. While credit cards can provide an additional source of funds when you need it, they are often used to make purchases outside of your budget. If you use your credit card wisely, it can help you achieve a strong credit score so you can get a great rate on a vehicle or lease an apartment after you graduate. Make sure you never go over your spending limit and that you always pay off your balance each month!

To learn more about building credit, take the 5 minute “How Do I Build Credit” Coaching Session offered by ALLIANCE HERE:

Whether you’re just getting started or are well on your way to building your financial future, ALLIANCE is here to help.

Additional Resources:

Financial Wellness Center

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