4 Ways to Manage Money

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Personal finance tips

You know the drill: Early each term you or your parents and supporters receive urgent texts or calls for more money. Or, maybe you just spent too much on late-night pizza runs or opened a new credit card with a payment due. You’re broke.

Whatever your spending issues might be, you can turn it around, starting with these easy tips:

  • Establish a budget. Understand your expenses and income. A great campus resource is Bears for Financial Success, an independent financial wellness program that is part of the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Take a look at iGrad, their easy-to-use personal finance tool. You can connect with Bears for Financial Success on campus or online through Facebook.
  • Set spending guidelines, such as distinguishing “needs” from “wants.”
  • Find a local bank. Once you arrive on campus or begin the term, set up a bank account so you can manage your money locally. As the official bank of UC Berkeley, Bank of the West offers sixteen ATMs on or around campus and on-campus staff who work with UC Berkeley students. While you are not obligated to work with them, Bank of the West offers accounts specifically for UC Berkeley students with no monthly service charges and other advantages.
  • Open a savings account. Put a little money in each month, even if only ten dollars to establish good financial habits. One tip: Keep an empty jar or old water bottle and drop in all of your loose change. You’ll be surprised how it adds up! You just might have enough at the end of a semester for some nights out with friends…or maybe even to pay off some bills.