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Each student enters college with their own unique living arrangements, cost of tuition and other additional expenses. Your personal finances may range anywhere from loose change to thousands of dollars. No matter what number you’re working with, learning how to manage your finances now is a valuable tool for staying stress-free in the future. You’ll also be better prepared to reach your goals- and have enough in the bank to make them a reality! 

Money and Stress

Money is one of the biggest stressors for young adults. Many students attend school alongside a job. There is also the challenge of finding that balance between fun and frugal. By learning to manage your money, you can also better manage your stress. Take advantage of the resources below to stay on track with your financial goals. You can also visit Oakland University Financial Services at 120 North Foundation Hall for tuition-related assistance. 

Knowledge is Power

Understanding your banking, financial aid, and credit options will help you reach your goals and reduce your stress.
The National Endowment for Financial Education has created a comprehensive guide for this purpose.

Click on the image to the right for information on bank accounts, financial aid, working, living on and off campus, cutting expenses, managing credit and debt.


Having your own checking and savings accounts is a great way to start managing your finances as a college student. You can directly deposit paychecks and track your savings to the penny. You can also set up automatic deductions from paychecks into savings accounts. Many banks offer joint checking/savings accounts with no monthly fees for currently enrolled students. Just beware of the ATM- limit withdrawals and configure your settings ahead of time to avoid overdraft fees. Explore your banking options and open an account with wherever best benefits you.

Using Credit Cards

Use with caution! Studies have found that people spend around 15% more on purchases paid with a credit card, as opposed to cash or debit. At the same time, establishing good credit as a student can help you down the road and is oftentimes necessary for financing a car or a first place. While credit is easy to build, bad credit is nearly impossible to erase. It can turn loan applications, mortgages and even cell phone contracts into nightmarish tasks. Higher insurance premiums and interest rates are also a side effect of bad credit. Ideally, you should have your balance paid off every month, rather than let interest compile. Building a positive credit history now will make your transition to adulthood, as well as your future finances, that much easier.

For information on opening a student credit card, visit the Oakland University Credit Union.

Quick Fixes for Extra $$$

Cut back on dining out
Get your coffee fix at home
Take advantage of customer rewards programs
Ditch expensive habits (i.e. tobacco, alcohol)
Make a shopping list and stick to it
Turn your closet into resale
Buy the store brand- the ingredients are the same!