Set : Managing Your Money
In order to afford college, you need to know what goes into its cost. You may think of tuition, mandatory fees, room and board (food), books, transportation, and supplies. Some of these costs you can’t control, such as tuition. However, if you’re financially literate, you can learn to balance a budget and keep costs down on the items you can control, such as transportation and food.
You can also help your future self by saving money. The earlier you start saving money, the closer you’ll get to your savings goal. Talk to your family about savings accounts, federal savings bonds, stocks and mutual funds, college savings plans, and the other ways they can save. If you earn money by babysitting, mowing your neighbors’ lawns, or another after-school job, practice setting up a budget of how much you’ll earn, how much you can spend now, and how much you want to save in your bank account. If you don’t already have an account with a bank or credit union, talk to your family about starting one.
As you get older, you and your friends might spend more time going out to eat, seeing movies or shopping. While these can be fun bonding activities, you should learn responsibility with your money early on. Don’t just spend money to try and impress other people. While it might seem like fun now, if you choose to save money you can have a lot more fun in college and as you grow up.
These skills won’t just help you now or when you’re in college, but they will also set up good habits for the rest of your life!
Your Savings Goal
To understand how much you will need to save, try this college savings calculator. It will help you estimate the cost of attending a college or university and then determine how much you will need to save to meet those costs. You don’t need to save the total cost. Your family may be able to help, and financial aid is available to those who need it.
Ways to Save
For more information about ways to save for college, talk with a qualified investment advisor or a representative at your local credit union or bank. They can tell you about saving for college using:
- College savings plans
- Federal savings bonds
- Stocks and mutual fund accounts, and more