Written by UCSC SlugCents
Classes have started, roommates are getting through that awkward get-to-know-you stage, and your calves are feeling the pressure from campus’s hills. While you are adjusting to life back on campus, now is a good time to start new habits and assess old ones. One habit you should be looking at is how you handle your money!
SlugCents loves to talk about money, and for those who are new to the conversation, we are happy to share our five favorite tips to get started. For those who are money pros, these five tips will help you assess your current money management to make sure you are starting the year off strong. These tips were covered in our last workshop, “Living Like A College Student.” Follow us on social media @UCSCSlugCents to stay up to date on future workshops!
1. Open A Bank Account in Your Name
Many students have access to bank accounts that are in other people’s names (think family, guardians, etc). If you do not have a bank account with your name on it, now is the time to get one! If you do have an account already, go to your bank or credit union’s website to check on the fees they charge and decide if this is the best financial institution for you to keep your money at.
If you currently have a minor’s bank account, meaning an adult like a parent or guardian can access your account as well, that may not be a bad thing. This will depend on the boundaries you have set up with whoever is on the account with you. If you do not feel comfortable with their ability to access your money or your purchase history, you can open up another account. Normally, you cannot remove someone from a bank account without their permission, so you most times wouldn’t be able to block them from the account.
Here is what to look for when choosing a financial institution:
A credit union or a bank with a “student account.” Bay Federal Credit Union is a local credit union that has this type of account.
A way to access your money in-person through an ATM or brick-and-mortar location. UCSC has three ATMs at Quarry Plaza: Bank of America, Bay Federal Credit Union, and Wells Fargo.
No minimum account balance, meaning you can have $1 in there and not be charged a fee
No check or debit card usage fees
No monthly service charges
2. Take Our Money Personality Quiz
As you attend more SlugCents events, you’ll get to dig deeper into your money relationship. Finding out your money personality is the first step to analyzing your money relationship. Are you a spender? Saver? Find out by taking the quiz here.
3. Set Up Your Budget
Keeping track of your spending through a budget is one of the first steps of successful money management. There are so many ways to budget; apps like Personal Capital and You Need A Budget make it easy. Your bank or credit union may also have their own budgeting tool built into their app and website! We covered a lot of ways to budget in our workshop, so be sure to watch the recording on YouTube to learn tips, tricks, and different budgeting methods. To start, first, subtract your expenses for a month from your income. Do you have money left over? Great! You’re already on the right track!
4. Set A Money Goal
A money goal is exactly what it sounds like. Your goal could be “save $500 by the end of spring quarter,” or “get my credit score to 700” or “open a credit card to earn rewards points,” or so many other things! Creating a specific, actionable money goal will help you set priorities and spend your money based on your values. Use the SMART goal guide to help you.
5. Schedule An Individual Coaching Session With SlugCents
Finally, schedule an individual coaching appointment with us! You can do this through Slug Success or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Linktree has the links to both. A session is 30 mins, and we can cover just about anything your heart desires. Want help setting up a budget or creating a money goal or finding a financial institution to open an account at? We got you covered. Don’t want to wait for a workshop on credit cards, and you want to talk about them now? We can do that! Have something personal going on that’s affecting your finances and you need help and resources? We are here for you and can get you connected with the right people.
SlugCents is UCSC’s financial literacy program. We provide financial education through workshops, one-on-one coaching, contests, and more. Visit our Linktree or @UCSCSlugCents to learn more. Products mentioned in this blog post are not endorsed by SlugCents.