by Bo, February 18, 2013
The college years are considered some of the most influential and habit forming years of an adult’s life. Freshmen in college are often faced with many decisions, some of which can impact their credit and entire future. Making poor or uniformed banking decisions can be one of those decisions that not only can make college life more difficult but also can result in poorer credit and financial standings when college has been completed. To help students have better banking and create good financial habits, we’ve compiled a list of six simple tips.
1. Look For Online Checking Accounts
Online banks and checking accounts are usually free to students and non-students alike. This can help save in banking fees (that can add up quickly) and supply an easily accessible location for students to monitor their accounts as well as pay bills, tuition or rent. Online checking accounts are worth considering when in college because of the free use and benefits they can offer.
2. Forget About Overdraft Protection
Over drafting an account is a terrible habit that will need to be stopped once the college years begin. While overdraft protection can sound enticing, it should be useless to a responsible college banking student. Also, this service provided by banks can offer steep charges if an account has been overdrawn or charge an average fee of $30 or more per transaction. Good college bank account holders don’t need to extra charges that come with overdraft protection and shouldn’t need this service because they won’t need it.
3. Have Tight Security
Whether students choose an online bank or a physical one, it is important to remember that securing personal banking information is important. Any financial paperwork needs to be put away in a safe location and online banking needs to be done on personal computers, not public computers like those found at school libraries or student common areas. Always remember to log off of banking sites once transactions and reviewing of statements have been completed and ensure you have tight personal banking habits for better information and account security.
4. Join the ATM Network
Some banking establishments will charge extra to account holders who use another bank’s ATM machines. By joining the ATM network, college students can use ATM all over America and save in expensive and useless fees. Look for a bank that provides a good, versatile and low fee AMT network.
5. Review Accounts
Occasionally it is helpful for college students to meet with someone who has been handling finances for a long time. This can be parents or accountants but it is helpful to review accounts and spending with an unbiased person to review how to improve a student’s banking and budgeting needs. A quarterly review can bring into perspective spending and help college students form better banking habits.
6. Manage Personal Records
Managing personal financial records is a good way for college students to stay on stop of spending, avoid of over drafting accounts and pay monthly bills. Check registers are a great way to manage account finances and compare them to the online statements. Through managing accounts this way, college students can know when and where their money is being spent. This technique is also good for students because ATM and card transactions can take a few days before showing a withdrawal in online statements. This means that a personal record will show account holders how much is really in their account with or without a current banking statement.
The college years are considered some of the most influential and habit forming years of an adult’s life and making poor or uniformed banking decisions can be one of those decisions that not only can make college life more difficult but also can result in poorer credit and financial standings. To help students have better banking and create good financial habits, it is important to manage personal records, bank online, and review accounts as well as have tighter personal information security, avoid overdraft protection, and join a good ATM network.