The American Library Association in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is sponsoring Money Smart Week taking place April 23-30, 2016. Take control of your personal finances with resources available from Money Smart Week. There are lots of websites and apps available to help you budget and control spending.
Student Deirdre Clifford ’16 reviewed You Need A Budget (YNAB)
The biggest fear that college brings is no longer from classes, exams, or papers. For many, it is from student loans. With each student adding more to their loans each year, the idea of them can seem more and more over whelming. The idea of leaving college becomes even more intimidating when this new and growing worry is added to the mix. What is even more worrisome is the fact the many students do not know how to approach and handle their loans. Fear from this unknown can way you down until you take the time to fully consider the means of managing things like student loans once and for all.
There is good news for us! YNAB is now free to use for college students. We know have access to YNAB4 while in school and can use their resources to graduate with less debt.
YNAB uses four simple rules to help people pay off debt. Rule number one is give every dollar a job: this means prioritizing where your money goes. You can figure out the best way to manage an budget the money you earn so it is used most effectively. The second rule YNAB offers is to embrace your true expenses. This idea combines thing like set payments, unexpected payments and future payments do that they all begin to feel like monthly payments with some organization and planning. This leads into the third rule which states: roll with the punches. By having a clear and set plan in place, unexpected expenses can be handled without fear or panic. The final rule is to age your money. This rule pushes people to hold on to the money they make for longer. This leads to more money security and better financing.
YNAB is offering their services free to students to help them get ahead of their loans. They can teach you how to take control of your money in less than an hour and lead you through their four steps more efficiently.
Student Kenneth Gillpatrick ’16 reviews two personal finance apps:
Is managing your money not a strong suit? As college students, we are constantly struggling to monitor our spending habits. One solution is take out your smartphone (which a majority of us have) and download a few personal finance apps. Mint and Check are two great apps that allow you to budget your money, and provide you with a visual of where your money is spent. Personally, I prefer Mint because I am the type of person to use my debit card for most, if not all, of my transactions. For people that prefer to spend cash, the app makes it somewhat difficult to track cash expenditures. Nonetheless, these apps will aid anyone trying to track their personal finances, and they can even tame the most reckless of spenders.
Student Chris Bruno ’16 reviewed two websites:
After spending sometime reviewing the MyMoney website it is clear that this site is a great tool for people of all ages who are looking for ways to control their money. The primary purpose of the website is to help students understand the risks and opportunities that college students are mostly susceptible to. The use of tabs at the top of the screen allows the website to be very easily navigable and it allows the viewer to find the main points with minimal difficulties. A big aspect of MyMoney is the “MyMoney Five” feature. This part of the site allows the viewer to look at the five most important building blocks for making the most of one’s money. The five keys are: spending, earning, saving/investing, protecting, and borrowing. The website features tabs for all five of these categories and ultimately makes it a focal point for the site. Overall MyMoney.gov is a great website for anyone trying to make the most out of their money and I recommend the site to all college students.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The FDIC website is a great tool for anyone looking to manage their money more carefully. With quick links to tips about borrowing money, saving money, managing your bank accounts and much more, the site offers a variety of advice. While exploring the different features of the website a unique feature that I took interest in was the “Scams and Thefts” tab. This quick link takes you to a part of the website which explores many different risks that college students are highly acceptable to. Whether it’s how to avoid fraud, or protecting your privacy, this link allows the viewer to get a wide variety of scams and illegal actives that could involve one’s money. FDIC also provides many links to other websites that can give you more information about a specific financial topic that you may be interested in. Overall, the FDIC website is a starting point which offers an abundance of information for someone who is looking to manage their money better or perhaps learn about the risks that are involved with managing money.
For more information about Money Smart Week, please contact the Reference Librarians for more assistance by email or by phone at 508-565-1103.