Prepare for your financial future
WashU is committed to helping students develop money management skills that will serve them during their time on campus and beyond.
FOR CURRENT WASHU STUDENTS
We are pleased to offer all current students free access to iGrad, an award-winning financial literacy platform. Students have 24/7 access to personalized tools, courses, videos, and articles on a wide range of topics, including:
• How to budget, save, and manage income
• Understanding credit and how to read a credit report
• How to fund an education, including finding external scholarships
• Understanding your paycheck and W2
• and more!
For prospective students and families
While university charges are fixed, many other expenses are variable based on your situation. The basics of budgeting and credit awareness will better equip you to make sound decisions now and in the future.
4 Steps to Creating a College Budget
The basics of budgeting and credit awareness are the same for students as they are for anyone else.
Step 1: Talk it Out
Determine your Needs vs. Wants
Budget first for needs and then carefully consider your wants.
Decide in advance who pays for what
It’s important to determine which expenses you are responsible for covering – cell phone, personal items, entertainment,etc. – and include them in your budget. If your family or guardian will be assisting you with these costs, have a conversation to make sure that everyone understands the plan.
Discuss what happens in an emergency, or when an unforeseen expense occurs. A little planning will make unexpected events much easier to handle when they come your way.
Step 2: List Income & Expenses
Identify all monthly inflows of cash and their sources:
Refunds, employment, savings, borrowed funds, and money from family.
Identify all monthly outflows of cash and their sources:
Focus first on major expenses such as meals, books, etc.
Step 3: Build Your Budget
Use our Student Budget Worksheet to create your monthly budget.
Step 4: Track Your Spending
Whether you use paper and pen, a spreadsheet, or an app, it’s important to consistently track your spending to avoid risk of busting your budget.
As a college student, a credit card can be convenient, but be sure to use it wisely. Carry only the minimum number of credit cards you need. Be aware of your credit balance at all times, make your monthly payments on time, and make sure you have a plan to pay off your charges before making a purchase using credit.
- Carry only the minimum number of credit cards you actually need
- Know where your cards are at all times
- Be aware of your credit balance at all times
- Have a plan to pay off your charges before making a purchase
- Always make your monthly payments on time
- To prevent being a victim of credit card fraud, you must do all you can to guard yourself and your funds. In the event that your credit card is lost or stolen, immediately notify the credit card company.