☑️ Admission offers received – check!
☑️ Enrollment decision made – check!
What’s next? You’ll be getting a lot of information about next steps during your college for registration and orientation. Meanwhile, you might want to start a conversation with your parents about a spending budget for college.
Here are 6 money management tips for you to consider:
- Open a bank account. Get an ATM card (if you don’t already have one). You may want to research the local banking options at the school you will attend. Many colleges have a bank or credit union on campus. Make it a joint account (you and a parent). That way you can access your money when away from home (in college).
- Learn how to check your bank balance from your phone. It is a good practice to check your bank balance before you get gas or stop by Starbucks, to be sure you have money in your account for the purchase.
- Learn how to deposit checks. Most bank mobile apps will allow you to deposit checks right from your phone. Great for those graduation checks you will receive!
- Create a budget. It is essential to have a spending plan. Know how much money you will have each month from your financial aid, a campus job, or from your family. With your parents, create a realistic monthly budget. Then, your biggest task will be to stick to your budget.
- Be in control of your monthly budget. Managing finances is a big challenge for every college freshman. If you are an international student, consider the added stress of having to calculate all your expenses in terms of U.S. dollars, so familiarize yourself with the value of the U.S. dollar. Before you arrive in the U.S., try to keep track of the currency exchange rates in your country and get a sense of how much the U.S. dollar will value against your country’s currency.
- Learn how to schedule & pay bills from your account. You might have phone bills or other bills you are responsible for. Learn how to pay on time and keep within a budget.
- Decide with your parents and if you choose, open a credit card account BEFORE leaving for college. Credit card companies will offer many promotions for new students on campus – free shirts, new tech gear, etc. Do NOT be tempted by all the free stuff! Open ONLY one credit card and use this card as a “backup” (if you do not have cash) to help establish good credit.
Download this excel sheet on your computer and fill it out to see how much budget you have or will need to be able to pay for all of your expenses. Since it is an interactive sheet, all the numbers you put in will be used to calculate your budget automatically. Refer to this excel sheet at the end of every month to check if you have been able to finish the month on budget.
Start practicing good money management skills now so that you have one less thing to worry about freshman year! At EdMission Possible, we help our students transition to college life with ease. If you have any questions during this important time of your life, call or e-mail us today.
Happy transitioning to college!
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Founder and President | EdMission Possible
Burcak Deniz Cakir has a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. She has completed the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession. She has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Burcak can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. She is bilingual in Turkish and English. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc.
Burcak is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a Voting Member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). She currently lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her four-legged son. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, and decorating her house.
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