Information on budgeting, spending, credit cards, taxes, student loans, saving, investing, and other personal finance topics.
What Is Financial Literacy?
Financial literacy is possessing the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.
As a college student, it is important to consider the impact that achieving a degree will have on your finances. The cost of living in Flagstaff is high and takes some getting used to. Understanding this early on and taking steps to prepare for your future and financial well-being will help you tremendously in the long run.
Below are topics that can help you along this path.
There are 8 important steps to build financial health:
- Have a Budget - Create a plan for how to spend your money.
- Use a Bank or Credit Union - Keep your money safe! Determine your needs and find a bank or credit union that works for you.
- Use a Checking Account - Pay for goods or services directly via debit card or a check.
- Cashing Paycheck - Get your money without paying high fees.
- Use Virtual Money Tools - Utilize apps to transfer or receive money quickly.
- Obtain Insurance - Insurance is paying a monthly fee, in case something goes wrong that would cost a lot to replace or fix. Usually, you will pay a portion, or deductible, of the cost at the time of the incident, for example, health, renters, and auto insurance.
- Plan for Retirement - It is important to save money, start early, and understand options like an IRA, 401K, and pensions.
- Learn About Taxes - Know the minimum requirements and when to file your taxes. Remember these areas when planning your financial life!
Creating a Monthly Budget
One of the most basic ways to stay on top of your finances is through the creation of a monthly budget. Now of days it is easier than ever to do so, thanks to various online apps that do the hard work for you. Here at CCC, we provide a wonderful playlist of videos dedicated to showing you how to budget. Adhering to your monthly budget will help you stay organized and disciplined throughout your educational journey.
Understanding Student Loan Interest
Always be aware of the different aspects associated with borrowing money through a student loan, such as interest. Paying interest can be a never ending cycle if you aren’t careful, so take a look at these videos associated with student loans and interest to help you avoid a downward spiral of spending.
The Importance of Saving
Saving is an important element of financial health. No matter what age you are, it’s never too early to begin planning for your future. Here are some tips and tricks to help you save small amounts that will add up to large amounts over time.
A credit card is a form of debt used to pay for items and services you will have to repay at a later date. Use credit cards wisely by limiting use to what you can pay in full each month or use only for emergencies. Check out our credit card playlist for more information.
Your credit score is measured by the FICO or VantageScore method, which evaluates different criteria to determine your score. Watch these videos to help improve you knowledge on credit scores.
Understand what you are getting yourself into whenever you borrow money. It is easier to lose credit than to gain it, so be cautious and aware anytime you chose to use credit for your purchases. Check out our debt and borrowing playlist for more info.
Protecting your Identity
Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your credit card number, bank account information, Driver's License, or Social Security Number to pretend they are you. Identity theft is more prevalent than ever. Protect your identity at all times and don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable to fraud! Watch these videos on how to protect yourself.