College Finance 101: Learn how to financially prepare for college

Obtaining a college degree is a huge financial commitment to many students and their families, but a college education is worth the investment. Your neighborhood credit union wants to help you and your loved ones with college finance tips to ensure a healthy financial future.

So whether you have a child that is heading off to college in the fall or you are the one stepping on to campus, learn how to financially prepare for college with these important tips:

AVOID DEBT

Credit card companies heavily target college campuses and new students. Don’t be tempted by every free t-shirt offer, or you could quickly find yourself maxing out every card you applied for and racking up debt on top of student loans.

MANAGE YOUR MONEY

Take some time to select the right checking account to manage your money wisely. With the right account you’ll avoid high fees and obtain overdraft protection. Plus, TruStone Financial offers Online Banking which allows you to use a laptop, tablet or even smartphone to easily manage your money no matter where college takes you. So whether you’re checking to make sure you have enough money for that late night pizza run or putting more funds into your child’s account for textbooks, Online Banking has you covered.

ESTABLISH A BUDGET

Learn the importance of carefully tracking expenses each month by creating a budget with categories for applicable spending areas from entertainment to housing. This easy and personalized spending plan will ensure that you always have enough money for the things you need.

UTILIZE WEB RESOURCES

The Internet has numerous financial management resources right at your fingertips. Check out Mint.com for budgeting tips on your smartphone or tablet, or explore MyMoney.gov for advice on making sound financial decisions. With countless resources, you’ll have the knowledge to take on all that college has to offer.

START SAVING

Once you have decided what educational path to take, it’s time to start saving. At TruStone Financial, we can help you set and meet your savings goals. By building a solid financial base with one of our great saving options, you’ll see benefits after graduation and beyond.

BUILD CREDIT

When you open a new credit card with TruStone Financial, you’ll be able to start building credit. Without credit history, it’s difficult to get a loan, credit card or even an apartment. By establishing responsible credit use in your college years, you’ll show a strong credit history that will help jump start your future purchases.