Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the ability to use skills and knowledge to make informed financial decisions and develop a mindset for future financial well-being.

Budgeting

It is important to create a plan to utilize your money wisely.  Budgeting enables you to see where your money is going each month and helps you make good financial decisions on a daily-basis.
What are the benefits of budgeting?

  • You develop control over your money.
  • It reduces stress/anxiety over your finances.
  • You develop a new way of looking at your spending/saving habits.
  • It helps create a pathway out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
  • It helps you to think ahead before big purchases.

Needs VS. Wants

It is important to budget your money, but it is equally important to learn the difference between needs and wants.   Needs are necessities such as food, electricity, shelter, etc.  Wants are luxuries such as the newest tech product, fashionable clothes, etc.​ Understanding these concepts will help you develop a new mindset regarding your spending.

Banking

Do you have your own personal bank account?  If not, here are things to consider when opening a new account:

  • Is the institution insured? (FDIC - NCUA)
  • Are there monthly fees to consider?
  • Is there a minimum balance that must be maintained?
  • What are the fees for the ATM usage?
  • Does the institution charge overdraft fees?  Is there overdraft protection?
  • What are the institution's hours of operation?  Do they offer online banking?

What are the benefits of having your own personal bank account?  Here are few reasons you may want to open an account:

  • As an account holder, you are not charged fees to cash a check.
  • You can enjoy the convenience of having direct deposit for your paychecks, financial aid refunds, and income tax refunds.
  • You can use your bank account to pay bills online or by mail.

Setting Financial Goals

Developing short-term financial goals will help you to achieve your long-term ones.  The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) method is a good tool to use when developing goals, whether they be financial, academic or personal.

Example

  • Short-term Financial Goals
    • Deposit a set amount of each paycheck each pay-period.
    • Accumulate the least amount of debt as possible prior to graduating.
  • Long-term Financial Goals
    • Pay off a loan within five years.
    • Save for a down payment on a vehicle or a home.