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How to manage your money better at college

August 3, 2017

The stereotype of the “broke college student” has become fairly well-known. A 2014 Buzzfeed article titled “25 Things Only Broke College Students Understand” features pertinent memes about various topics, while a 2016 Money article suggests that college students ought to be saving for retirement already. After all, college means buying textbooks, coffee and Chipotle burritos, sometimes with limited financial help from parents. Here are some tips to keep in mind, both as an incoming freshman and throughout college.

Download your bank’s phone app

Most major banks have their own mobile applications that allow users to transfer money, deposit checks and, most importantly, check the balance of checking accounts. PNC Bank, Chase Bank and Ohio University Credit Union, among others, all have phone applications.

“You need to know what’s going on with your account, and I’m assuming, as a young person, the mobile app would be the best way,” Eva Bloom, a member development specialist at Ohio University Credit Union, said. “It really depends on the individual.”

Use a third-party finance tracker

While bank apps are great for simple tasks like checking account balances, some of them tend to lack more advanced features. Third-party personal finance apps such as Mint, Prosper Daily and Spending Tracker allow users to further analyze their spending. Analyzing exactly where money is being spent can be a wake-up call. However, those trackers only keep track of what’s already been spent — they won’t keep you from overdrawing your account, Bloom said.

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From → College Finances

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