While University charges are fixed, many other expenses are variable based on your situation. The basics of budgeting and credit awareness are the same for students as they are for anyone else. To create a budget, list the source of your income (such as financial assistance from Washington University or outside scholarships), financial support from your parents, and income from your job if you choose to work on or off-campus. Then, list your expenses: tuition, housing, food, books, groceries, entertainment, etc. in as much detail as possible. As a student at Washington University, we will provide you with a Student Budgeting Worksheet that will help you consider how to best manage your money. In the meantime, we've provided some useful information below.
TIPS ON MANAGING YOUR MONEY
- Record all checking account transactions as you make them.
- Reconcile your checking account at least once a month.
- Establish a savings plan, and try to set money aside for emergencies.
- Avoid unnecessary purchases, especially with credit cards.
- For help, contact a Student Financial Services counselor.
A NOTE ON CREDIT CARDS
As a college student, a credit card can be convenient, but be sure to use it wisely. Carry only the minimum number of credit cards you actually need. Be aware of your credit balance at all times, make your monthly payments on time, and make sure you have a plan to pay off your charges before making a purchase using credit.
To prevent being a victim of credit card fraud, you must do all you can to guard yourself and your funds. Always check to make sure you know exactly where your credit cards are, and consistently check the statements. In the event that your credit card is lost or stolen, immediately notify the credit card company.