Home > Resources > Campus Life > Money Management

Money Management

Managing your money while in college is not easy, especially during your first year on campus. However, money management is extremely important because your finances are no longer your parents’ responsibility. Browse through our tips on managing your money so you don’t end up in financial trouble. With these tips, you will learn how to cover education costs with minimal debt, and use the money you save to have fun in college.

Be Budget-Conscious

Knowing how to budget is crucial to avoid debt. Know the cost of all of your expenses, including an emergency fund for things like food and car repairs. Calculate how much money is left over after your basic expenses. Use that for fun money, and keep track of how much of that money you spend. If you need more than what is in your financial aid package consider picking up a part-time job. Never spend beyond your means. Maintain a tight budget to avoid financial stress, and keep couple bucks in your pocket at the end of the month.

Decisions Now Matter Later

Although credit cards with low student interest rates are appealing, be cautious about opening a line of credit. If you have your own credit card, do not apply for another and only use your card for emergency purposes. Sign up for a meal plan to avoid unnecessary food purchases and do not buy those extra pairs of shoes. If you carelessly swipe your credit card, you will be unable to make payments which will rack up interest fees and ruin your credit score.

Overnight debt occurs when students abuse their credit card. In 2009, Sallie Mae reported the average credit card debt of graduating college seniors was $4,100, a 41% increase from 2004. High debt equals low credit score. A low credit score will prevent you from making important purchases post-graduation, such as a car or leasing an apartment. A high credit score will enable you to sign a lease, and get better rates on cars, insurance and a home. Check out our tips on managing your money to avoid the urge to splurge in college, and keep a high credit score.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

McDonald's, Ivy Tech Team Up on College Tuition Assistance Program

January 23, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

More than 300 McDonald's locations will participate in the new Archways to Opportunity education program which - through its partnership with Indiana's community college system - will help its employees afford college tuition. McDonald's employees who work a minimum 15 hours per week for 90 days can receive up to $2,500 in college tuition assistance each year - or $3,000 per year for managers - at 18 Ivy Tech Community College campuses located in Indiana.

[...]

Get Paid to Play in College with ESA Esports Scholarships

January 21, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon. The ESA Esports scholarship program is "intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities" who currently "account for a very small percentage of Esports scholarship recipients. Therefore, in order to be eligible for the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, you must either be a woman or minority and pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences. Current high school seniors, college freshman, sophomore and juniors who are U.S. citizens may apply for the ESA Esports scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four (4) year college or university in the upcoming fall semester in order to be considered. All scholarship applications are due March 2, 2020 at 11:59 PST. Applicants will receive results by mid-June and funds will be issued to scholarship winners by end of August. [...]

Biggest / Largest Dollar Scholarships in 2020

January 16, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships after investing a decent amount of time and effort into applying for scholarships. Even smaller scholarships worth $500 are enough to cover books and fees, even if they aren't enough to foot an entire semester’s college tuition bill. [...]

Last Reviewed: January 2020