40 Money Management Tips

Every College Student Should Know

Group of college students

40 Money Management Tips: Every College Student Should Know

The financial decisions young adults make during college might involve a few bucks or thousands of dollars. It’s not always easy for them to know what the best choices are when moving beyond life with parents or guardians and toward their own financial self-sufficiency. This workshop helps young people learn how to take control of their money instead of letting their money take control of them, and is based on one of NEFE’s most popular publications: 40 Money Management Tips Every College Student Should Know. Topics covered include organizational tips, checking accounts, financial aid, dorm life, apartments, credit and debt, and saving and investing money. QA


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Feeling unsure about your presentation?  FAQs will help answer your questions about working with your intended audience.

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Answer: Students must have a plan to get their own finances in shape. This workshop helps see possibilities for the future, and gives students some of the necessary training, information, and tools to make informed choices. Instead of repeating habits that may have depleted their family resources in the past, students can begin to formulate their own plans and tailor their everyday money practices toward goals they set for themselves.

Answer: People who train college students in financial skills may face an array of obstacles, both within themselves and with their students. Some trainers and students may have a lack of training in money skills, bad financial habits, exposure to poor money practices in their families, a limited perspective on and cynicism about the possibilities for the future, unrewarding experiences in education, and a lack of faith in education’s ability to elevate their chances of success. Another category of challenges is age-based: Students often do not look beyond their own desires in the immediate future and may not see the value of long-term commitment. They may have little or no understanding of how the world works and they may also face peer pressure regarding financial decisions. In addition, your workshop may include “first generation” college students from lower-income households; these students may know very little about basic money management skills.

Answer: It is important to be yourself. Chances are, no matter how hard you try, you are not going to completely fit in with, or end up looking like the students in your audience. The best way to get the audience’s attention is to relax and keep your presentation at a level that allows you to showcase the material, while also being able to maintain a light rapport with the group. In this scenario, your job as a financial professional is to make the rather serious subject of personal finance interesting and relevant to students.

Answer: Giving an informal verbal quiz at the beginning of your presentation can help you quickly decide what content needs to be addressed during the workshop. Start out by asking broad questions regarding how much the students know about personal finance. You can refine your questions based on the answers you get from the informal quiz. One clue to their money knowledge might be how they use money for the things they enjoy most in their daily lives. Use the purchase of an iPod or shoes in the latest style to illustrate the need for savings: what about when the MP3 player needs more tunes? What happens when the shoes wear out? Asking students about familiar items and how they use money on a daily basis can help you determine their level of money knowledge. At the end of the workshop, you can perform another informal survey to see just how much they learned during your presentation. You can ask them some evaluative questions to help you tailor your future programs. What part of the class helped them the most to change the way they look at money? What would they change about the class? What information will they be able to take home and put to use every day? Consider using the NEFE Financial Education Evaluation Toolkit® to create evaluation surveys. The toolkit is available under the NEFE Tools tab on www.financialworkshopkits.org.

Answer: General rules for presenting to college students are essentially the same as for any other audience.

  • Be prepared.
  • Do your best to maintain a positive attitude throughout the session.
  • Never talk down to your audience—that’s the quickest way to lose them.
  • Don’t lecture, engage.
  • When asking questions and discussing subjects with students, don’t let your presentation get sidetracked. Instead, politely and with a bit of humor, bring the discussion back to the topic at hand.
  • Remember that you’re addressing this group as an expert who can make sense of complicated topics and help college students get their financial lives off to a good start.
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