College 101: Building Healthy Financial Habits

College Students

Whether you’re a freshman or senior in college, it’s important to build healthy financial habits early on before heading into the ‘real world.’ Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to managing your finances while in college.

Get in the Habit of Keeping a Budget
If you have saved up money from a summer job or have money from student loans and other types of financial aid, it’s important to keep track of your spending and savings so that you don’t end up in a position where you can’t pay bills or any other expenses. It’s also smart to set aside money for an emergency fund just in case you need it for an unexpected event.

Use Student Loans When Necessary
According to recent data from The Institute for College Access & Success, college graduates with a bachelor’s degree left school with an average of $28,650 in student loans in 2017. Student loans may not be avoidable but try to take out only what’s needed as student loans can make it hard to get a mortgage or other loans down the line. Consider covering for some of the college costs through scholarships, grants, and part-time/full-time jobs.

Look for Student Discounts
When going out to eat or shopping, find out if the retailer is offering student discounts. You can even get student discounts on tickets to museums and local entertainment venues, magazine or newspaper subscriptions, cell phone plans and insurance. This is a great way to save some money and stay on track with your budget.

Start Building Credit
Having a good credit history can help you score lower interest rates and better terms when it comes to applying for consumer loans, a mortgage, or even a new credit card. Look for student credit cards that are designed to help build credit history, such as First Mid’s Visa Signature® College Real Rewards Card. Be sure to keep track on how your FICO score is affected by the transactions and payments made. It’s a great financial tool, but it comes with great responsibility.

If you ever need a resource to help you achieve your financial goals, turn to First Mid. We’ll be sure to work with you every step along the way so that you can live your best life.

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