4 Financial Tips for College Students

Zions Bancorporation interns offer strategies for saving money at school.

Ramon Ruiz Aug 7, 2020

As a college student, it is hard not to worry about your finances. According to the National Student Financial Wellness Study, 70% of college students are stressed out about their finances. Nearly 60% said they worry about having enough money to pay for school, while half are concerned about paying their monthly expenses.

We asked our Zions Bancorporation interns to share a few tips to help relieve some of the financial stress that comes with being a college student.  

College Student Financial Tip #1: Have a budget

Ellie Faulk of Zions Bank
Ellie Faulk

Having a budget is one of the most basic — yet effective — ways to allocate and keep track of your expenses. A budget helps make you aware of how much you’re spending and gives you control over your money so that you can decide, in advance, how it should work for you.

Ellie Faulk, an Internal Audit intern and a senior at Lindenwood University, uses a monthly budget and tracks every dollar she spends.

“The actions that hold me most accountable are having a monthly budget and checking my bank account at least every other day,” she says. “Every single time I spend money on anything, I physically write it down. This makes me super aware of every dollar I spend and keeps my spending in check.”

College Student Financial Tip #2: Use resources you already pay for

Many students may be unaware that there are resources available to them that are included with tuition. These resources vary at different institutions and can usually be found on the school’s website. Programs may include dining, health, counseling and transportation services. Knowing what these resources are and leveraging them could help keep money in your pocket.

Austin Stewart, an Enterprise Technology Operations intern and senior at Utah State University, used his school’s resources to save money and encourages other students to do the same.

“Know the programs that are already paid for in your tuition and take advantage of those,” he says. “I have taken advantage of the bike rental service on campus, which is paid for by tuition. This has saved me gas money, wear and tear on my car, and money that would have been spent on a campus parking pass.” 

Austin Stewart of Zions Bank
Austin Stewart

College Student Financial Tip #3: Start investing

Kelvyn Bladen of Zions Bank
Kelvyn Bladen

Investing is a great way for college students to save money for the future. It is a viable option for all students, according to Kelvyn Bladen, a Credit Risk analytics intern and recent graduate of Utah State University.

“A penny saved is a penny earned, but a penny invested is two pennies earned thanks to compound interest,” he says.

“Get into basic investment strategy as a student if possible. Set up an account and determine a reasonable portion of your income to allocate to it each month. Making this a priority not only has the potential to grow your money but makes you more conscientious about saving enough to meet your investment goals.”

College Student Financial Tip #4: Treat yourself

Being a college student is difficult and stressful, so you’ve earned the right to occasionally reward yourself. Just make sure you are keeping track of the money you spend.

“Don’t forget to spend a little money on yourself,” says Lauren Despain, a Real Estate Banking Group intern and student at Boise State University. “You can’t have a savings plan that is free of an unexpected or unnecessary purchase and still have your sanity.”

Zions Bank makes it easy to track your spending — and saving — anytime with convenient online and mobile banking tools. Open a checking or savings account online, or visit with a Zions Bank representative near you to learn more.

Lauren Despain of Zions Bank
Lauren Despain

Ramon Ruiz is a summer intern in Zions Bank’s Marketing Department and will be graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in strategic communications in December 2020.

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