Signs of Financial Wellness
- Learning how to manage your money and establishing a personal budget.
- Not living beyond your means.
- Learning to not let money be the driving force of your life.
- Donate some of your money, if possible, to a cause you believe in.
- Make a plan to pay back your student loans.
- Not getting into credit card debt. Try to pay off the entire balance each month to avoid interest.
- Thinking long term — set up a savings account.
Finding Financial Wellness at Kean
KNOW YOUR CASH FLOW
Being able to distinguish between needs and wants is an important step to achieving financial goals and attaining financial independence. Limit your spending to the things that matter most and use the rest of your money to power your financial future.
- What money are you bringing in?
- Where is it coming from?
- Can you depend on it each week, month or year?
- What are your expenses? Account for all of your expenses, even the small ones such as a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza.
- What do you need?
- What do you want?
WAYS TO STRETCH YOUR DOLLAR AT KEAN
- Cut out/cut back on costly habits.
- Limit music and app downloads.
- Use Kean’s free public transportation.
- Go to free on-campus or local events.
- Comparison shop online to find the best deals.
- Need clothes? Shop the sales rack or at thrift shops.
- Borrow books and DVDs from Kean University Library.
- Read your favorite magazines at Kean University Library.
- Use your student discount.
- Buy generic.
- Limit eating out by using your meal plan.
- Save even more money by cooking your own meals.
- Drink less — cutting back on alcohol can save money.
- Use online discounters such as Living Social or Groupon.
HOW TO BUILD GOOD CREDIT IN COLLEGE
Think of your credit score as a kind of financial GPA: Your goal is to keep improving it, and then maintain it when it’s the highest you can achieve. If you’ve recently earned a failing grade — say, in the form of making late payments — you’ll need to work that much harder to raise your score!
- Pay all your bills on time, including loan payments.
- Do not overdraw your account or bounce checks.
- Before you apply for a credit card or loan, ask yourself if you really need it and if you can afford to the payments.
- Contact creditors immediately if you are struggling to make payments.
- Check your credit score, at least annually.
START SAVING — PAY YOURSELF FIRST
Paying yourself first means that you’re making savings your number one spending plan priority. Putting even $10 to $25 into a savings account each paycheck will help you establish a savings habit. As you continue to pay yourself first, you can grow your savings and establish an emergency savings fund. Over time, you can increase your contributions to savings and pay off outstanding student loans and/or credit card debt.
- Open a savings account.
- Save money as part of your budget plan.
- Decide what is for saving and what is for spending.
- Put “extra” money into your savings account.
- Set short- and long-term goals
KNOW WHAT YOU OWE — STUDENT LOANS AT KEAN
- Read the fine print on any loans you take out.
- Understand your student loan obligations.
- Submit a new FAFSA every year.
- Talk to a financial aid officer about any change in your situation.
- If you have questions about your student loans, contact Financial Aid.
- If you have questions about any private loans, call your lender with any questions.