...from GuidedPath Edge Guru

Do you know how to spend money in college?

credit card


Graduation? Check!  

College housing selected? Check!  

ATM card for college – What?! Get an ATM card? 

Before you leave for college, you need to learn how to handle money.  Here are 6 tips for you to consider as you prepare to go off to college in the fall. 

  • Open a bank account NOW and get an ATM card (if you don’t already have one). Make it a joint account (you and a parent.) That way you can get money quickly if you need it when away from home (in college). 
  • Learn how to check your bank balance from your phone. It is a good practice to check your bank balance before you get gas or stop by Starbucks, to be sure you have money in your account for the purchase. 
  • Learn how to deposit checks.  New technology allows you to deposit checks right from your phone.  Great for those graduation checks you will receive. 
  • Create a budget. It is essential to have a spending plan.  Know how much money you will have each month from your financial aid or from parents. With your parents, create a realistic monthly budget.  Then, your biggest task will be to stick to your budget. 
  • Learn how to schedule & pay bills from your account.  You might have phone bills or other bills you are responsible for.  Learn how to pay on time and keep within a budget. 
  • Open a credit card account BEFORE leaving for college. Don’t be tempted by the credit card offers that you will see when you get there!  Use this card as a “backup” only, and to help establish good credit.

Start developing good money management skills this summer, and you will have a great start to your freshman year in the fall. 

Take Action 

Use the Cost of Attendance in GuidedPath to calculate your college budget. What is the amount used for “Personal Expenses”?  Use this to calculate your college budget. Divide the number by 9 months to determine your monthly budget.