Russell Conwell Center
Managing your money
Tips to make it through the semester
Things you’ll learn and do
Budgeting is easier than you think!
• Keep track of what you earn and what you spend. Create a
monthly budget and track to see if it is accurate.
• Be aware of when you are buying to fulfill a need such as food,
compared to a want such as the latest CD. Skip purchasing
some wanted items to show you can do it!
• Find ways to cut costs: Use a bicycle, get a roommate, learn to
cook and buy used books.
• Establish a monthly bill-payment routine and set up a filing
Understand your debt
• Realize that the spending patterns you set today will have an
impact on the rest of your life.
• Keep only one major credit card and use it sparingly. Set your
own credit line and don't charge more than you can
comfortably repay. Just because you have a $2,000 credit line
doesn't mean you have to spend $2,000.
• Pay cash when you can and if you like the convenience of
plastic, check into getting a bank debit card.
Track your money
• Once you realize how much impulse buying and other indulgences cost you,
it will be easier to tell yourself "NO!"
• Be frugal. Going to the movies, riding the bus, or even ordering pizza might
cost less if you show your student I.D.
• Keep a personal budget. You may want to designate types of money for
▫ For instance: Think of student loans as an investment in your education
and your future. Use student loan funds only to pay school expenses like
tuition and books.
▫ Use money from home for things like groceries and phone bills.
▫ Give yourself an allowance. Track your spending to find where your
• Budget for a month at a time but set aside some time to review your
finances each week.
• A budget is like a money diet. If you blow it today, you can start if
again tomorrow. If you go over budget this week, next week commit
to staying under budget.
• Put your roommate in your financial planning. Ask your roommate
before the semester starts how you'll divide expenses like groceries
• Track your spending for two to four weeks to find out where your
money is going. Are four trips to Starbucks a week really necessary?
• Build an emergency fund. Save change in a piggy bank or jar. Deposit
$5.00 a week from paychecks in a savings account when you cash your
• Make a money calendar. Any calendar with big windows with room
to write in amounts will do. Use the calendar windows to note:
▫ Upcoming school expenses (books and tuitions).
▫ Bill payment dates.
▫ Upcoming activities where you'll need cash. (Movies, dances,
Symptoms of Poor Money Management
• Letting friends pressure you into
spending money. • Failing to research product
pricing before making purchases.
• Not setting up a budget.
• Excessively lending money to
• Not seeking out the best bank friends.
• Not planning for the future.
• Not keeping track of bank
Credit vs. Debit
• Don’t sign up for a credit card without knowing how they work. Credit cards are
like power tools. If you use it without knowing how, you’re more likely to get hurt.
Millions of dollars are spent on marketing credit cards to college students . On
average, they will receive about 50 solicitations per semester.
• Learn how your debit card works. Debit cards are a much better alternative
to credit cards since you can only spend money that you actually have in your
▫ If you are using an ATM that is not owned by your bank, you could end up paying
as much as $6 per transaction, just to get cash. In addition, you may be charged
each time you use your debit card at the store, if you don’t select the “debit”
▫ http://www.youngmoney.com/credit_debt/money_management/five_tips /
POINTS TO REMEMBER
• Understand how your money works. According to United College Marketing Service,
8.5% of students drop out of college due to money-related issues.
• Get real
Remember if you plan you can do what you want, but you can't do everything you want.
• Pace yourself
Give yourself a spending limit for each week. Stick to it and you won't have to eat
macaroni and cheese every day in December. If you know you need to go to a concert,
make room for that in your budget.
• Stuff happens
If you bust your budget on something you really, really want to do this week, make up for
it next week.
• Look ahead
If you know a big expense is coming, start putting some money aside to pay for it.
▫ "It's a lot easier to set aside $50 every month than to come up with $300 when the bill
• On Temple Campus
▫ Free Food and Fun Friday
▫ The Reel
• Throughout Philadelphia
▫ Campus Philly
• Complete Financial Aid Budgeting
• MAKE YOUR OWN BUDGET
• American Bankers Association’s Top 10 Money Management Tips
• 27 Tips for College Students