Most students don’t dedicate enough time to financial planning—but money management skills are critical for a successful transition to college or a full-time career.
“I realized that my financial goals will ultimately affect my family, my living situation, and basically everything in my future,” says Brandy, a current first-year student at Chadron State College in Nebraska.
And learning to manage money isn’t just about future success—financial stability is linked to better mental and physical well-being, which in turn impact academic success. After all, it’s hard to study when all you can think about are your student loans piling up.
Brandy’s school counselor introduced her to CampusWell, and it was there that Brandy found helpful tips for learning to budget. For starters, she learned the importance of why when setting goals.
“The first step in setting a goal is finding the purpose, because if you don’t have one, you’re not going to [save money],” she says. “My goal was to be financially stable for next semester, including paying off a loan I had to take this year when I moved to a single room.”
In a financial planning article on CampusWell, Brandy learned tips for assessing her needs versus her wants and cutting back where she could.
“I’m very bad at saving money, but I was able to put into practice the tools the article mentioned,” she says. “One [strategy] was to track everything that you spend money on for two weeks, then create a budget to see where you can cut spending. That really helped me—I was eating out literally all the time! And it helped in more ways than one because it also helped my physical health.”
After adjusting her spending to put more money into her bank account instead of her takeout bills, Brandy is now on her way to financial stability. “I have only $300 left on the loan, and I will be able to pay that off.”