Regardless of whether or not you are going to be working on campus in order to pay for books or other items you need while you are in college, or if your parents are transferring you money every few weeks, you are going to need to make sure that you are financially prepared. Here are some steps for getting ready with regards to finances before you go to college.
1. Open a Bank Account
If you are going to be making money on your own, you don't need a combined bank account with your parents. Do the research and see what the most common bank is in the area that you are going to college. Then, set aside time to go to that bank and open at least a checking account. Getting the most common bank in your area increases the chances that you will be able to find an ATM nearby that belongs to your bank and therefore will not require you to have to pay fees.
If you can, make sure that you also open a savings account. Some banks have accounts that have combined savings and checking accounts that don't require a minimum amount of money in order to keep both open. Other banks will need you to keep a minimum in a savings account if you don't want to pay fees. Savings accounts are helpful because they give you a place to put your money if you don't want to spend it all or want to save up for something larger. Only get a savings account if there is no minimum balance or if you think that you will always be able to keep that minimum balance.
2. Get a Credit Card
Next, you are going to need to make sure that you get a credit card before going to college. Your parents might feel uneasy about this because they might think that credit cards will lead to more debt. However, it is crucial that you leave college with a good credit score, rather than no record of credit at all and getting a credit card is the easiest way to make sure that this happens. Get a credit card and commit to only purchasing textbooks or gas with it. This will allow you to make sure that you are able to pay it off entirely because the balance won't go too high. If you need to, have your parents be co-signers on the card and then get your own card when your score is high enough.
For more information, talk to you bank.
A few years ago, I found myself in a tough spot. I was completely out of money, and my expenses kept piling up. I knew that if I didn't turn things around, I would be declaring bankruptcy for my business. To ward off financial disaster, I decided to invest a little time into learning how to budget. I made a few simple changes, including eating out less, paying attention to fines and fees, and avoiding excessive shopping trips. You wouldn't believe how quickly things changed. This blog is designed to teach beginners how to shape their financial future, so that you don't have to worry.