Assess your present knowledge and attitudes.
|1. I am confident I will make it through college without any financial hardships.|
|2. I realize that while in college I won’t have as much money to spend on things as in the past.|
|3. I plan to avoid debt as much as possible while in college so I don’t have large loans to pay back after college.|
|4. I am willing to make sacrifices and spend less on some things while in college.|
|5. I keep track of all my expenditures and maintain a budget so that I know when I am spending too much.|
|6. I believe I can have a happy and fulfilling life while a student without having a lot of money.|
|7. I know the best kinds of jobs to seek while in college.|
|8. I always pay off the full balance on my credit cards when the statement arrives.|
|9. I have applied for every possible form of financial aid to help pay for college.|
Think about how you answered the questions above. Be honest with yourself. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your financial health at this time?
|In financial trouble||Very financially secure|
In the following list, circle the three most important financial areas in which you think you may need to improve:
Are there other areas in which you can improve your financial well-being and avoid potential money problems while in college? Write down other things you feel you need to work on.
Here’s what we’ll work on in this chapter:
What is a chapter on personal finances doing in a book on student success? If you’re a new college student you may not yet have money problems or issues—but most college students soon do. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a “traditional” college student enrolled in college just after high school or a “nontraditional” student returning to school.
Younger students are likely to confront money issues for several reasons:
Nontraditional students who have worked or started a family before attending college may have already learned to manage their money well but usually still confront some financial issues:
Almost everyone eventually has money issues at college, and they can impact your academic success. Money problems are stressful and can keep you from concentrating on your studies. Spending too much may lead you to work more hours than you might otherwise, giving you less time to study. Or you might take fewer classes and thus spend more years in college than needed. Worse yet, money problems cause many students to drop out of college entirely.
But it doesn’t have to be this hard. Like other skills, financial skills can be learned, and they have lifelong value. This chapter will help you