08.16.2010 / What College Students Need to Know About Finance

If you are a new college student, or a parent getting ready to send a kid to school, you have a lot to do get ready to leave. Part of leaving home means starting to manage your finances on your own, or letting your children manage their finances.

"Part of leaving home means starting to manage your finances on your own, or letting your children manage their finances."

Below are five things that college students need to know about financial matters that often get left out of their pre-college preparation. Take a look, share with your family and most of all, and remember that financial education is as important as a college education!

  1. Budgets Are Important – Even if you live on campus with your meals and board paid for, it is a good idea to track your other expenses and create a budget based on what you spend. Starting to track your spending now will help when you are responsible for all your expenses.
  2. Save Every Month – A lot of people, especially students and new grads, think that if you only have a little bit to save (like five or ten dollars a month) it isn’t worth saving. Nothing could be further from the truth! Due to compounding interest over time, the five or ten dollars you might be able to save a month while in college can help set the stage for a nice nest egg later on.
  3. Pay Your Bills on Time – This one is big, as it has the most repercussions later on. Paying your bills on time – or not – affects your credit score. Make sure that when you make your budget you anticipate any bills and pay them when they are due. This will keep your credit score healthy and will help you in the long run.
  4. Don’t Max out your credit cards – College can be a great time to learn to use credit cards wisely. The biggest mistake new students make is maxing out their new credit cards. Treat your cards wisely – like an emergency fund – and you won’t be paying them off after you graduate.
  5. Do your own taxes! – It might be tempting to let your parents do your taxes – but now is the time to learn how to do them yourself. If you have a job, start doing your own taxes as soon as possible – this will help set the stage for taking on more responsibility in your own finances moving forward!

Do you have any tips or advice to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Posted at 01:42 PM | Permalink
Post A Comment

The views expressed on this site may not reflect the views held by First National Bank of Omaha or any of its affiliates. The information provided through this website is not a substitute for any personal advice from a licensed professional. Use of any information or advice shall be solely at the user's own risk.

We welcome your comments. All comment submissions will be reviewed prior to being posted. If the comments are posted, they may be removed at any time. Comments will not be approved if they contain, include or involve any of the following: Obscenity; Crude, vulgar or offensive language and/or symbols; Gang signs or symbols; Derogatory characterizations of any ethnic, racial, sexual or religious groups, personal attacks of any kind towards others; Trespass or the violation of other people's rights or property; Illegal (e.g., discriminatory, harassing) or inappropriate activity, behavior or conduct (e.g., inflicting emotional distress); Any other content that is or could be considered inappropriate, unsuitable or offensive, or clearly "off-topic" as determined by First National Bank of Omaha. To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information such as Social Security Number, phone number or email address in the body of your comment.

For account related questions, please log in to First National Online at and use the secure email located in Contact Us.