Financial Management Tips

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Financial Management Tips

  1. 1. Financial Management Tips The following information is based primarily upon material provided by Dr. Vicki Schram Fitzsimmons, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. 1. Conserve your money. Estimate monthly expenses for various activities so you can plan ahead. If you find yourself short a few bucks from time to time perhaps you could look for a job or cut some of your expenses. Stock up on items when they are on sale, or cut coupons…it takes time to save! 2. A night out on the town can be an expensive habit. In Champaign-Urbana there are numerous recreational activities to students at discounted rates (or FREE). Consider attending residence hall social events, discount nights at local theaters, skating at the ice arena, attending Illini Union Board events and concerts, going to IMPE for any number of great recreational activities, having movie nights in your own room with friends, etc. Watch the Daily Illini for ads related to campus events. 3. Specialty clothing is very expensive. Illini sportswear is fun to have around, but costly. Be careful about how much “new stuff” you put in your wardrobe. 4. Be aware of the telephone! More than likely you will want to keep in touch with your family and high school friends. That’s understandable, but phone bills add up over time. Think about buying stamps with your hard-earned money! Remember to take advantage of your student email accounts. You can email friends and family, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. 5. Think before you spend money on food. If you must order pizza, watch for coupons in the Daily Illini. Just about every local place offers specials – so keep your eyes open. If you live in the University Residence Halls, there are specialty restaurants for you to consider to add variety to your dining options. Check them out – even CNN thought they were pretty great. 6. Prior to arriving on campus it is possible that someone else bought your personal care products. Most students are shocked at how much it can cost to make a trip to the store for shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, etc. Find a friend with a car or take a bus to the large discount stores in town. Their prices are usually lower than the more convenient stores close to campus. In fact, if you have a membership to a local discount warehouse you can buy products in bulk and split the cost with friends. Planning to take a vacation? Before you know it Spring Break will be here and you’ll be wanting to take a trip to the beach. Save yourself some financial woes by setting aside a lump sum of money for the occasion. PLAN. Check out the package deals, but be careful not to get caught in a scam.
  2. 2. 7. Credit cards can be deadly if you don’t manage your finances properly. Interest rates are usually high, especially for new consumers. If you pay the minimum monthly payment, it can take years to pay off the balance. If you have credit cards, plan to pay the balance each month. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. When you graduate, it could take a long time to pay off your school loans and the credit debt you established while in college. While establishing a good credit rating can be helpful, you can do that without having 5 credit cards. 8. ATM cards are nice to have around – but are a little too convenient. Remember to subtract the amount you withdraw from your checking account. It’s easy to spend money at a faster rate than you earn it if you can get it out of a machine. 9. How to Survive Without Your Parent’s Money by Geoff Martz is published by Villard Books. The book $9.00 and could help you get a grip on financial independence. You could also consider taking a class on personal finance issues – ACE 245. 10. Watch the big picture. When you get your financial aid check in September and January, those checks are intended to last a full semester. Plan a budget, and stick with it. If you run out of money in November, it’s a long time until your next check arrives. 11. If you get a campus job, keep the number of hours you work manageable. A balanced lifestyle is important. Not sleeping will eventually take its toll, even on the most energetic person. Some people can manage to work while they are in school, and do it successfully. Others have to work but have a hard time. If you need help finding a good balance, feel free to use any number of campus resources to discuss time management, stress management, and/or financial management tips.

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