Student Service Center
As you learn how to manage your finances, follow these simple tips:
- Pay yourself first. Try to put away at least 10 percent of your pre-tax income into a savings account.
- Spend less than you earn. While this seems obvious, Americans are notorious for doing just the opposite. Stop spending and start saving.
- Pay your bills on time. Avoid needless late fees and know how much money you actually have.
- Avoid debt to the greatest possible extent. Student loans and mortgages can be "good debt," but even then, make paying them off a priority.
- Set a budget. And live by it. Use a computer program, a financial tracking website, or just a paper and pencil—whatever works for you.
- Set concrete goals. Know when you want to buy a new car or a new home, when you want to retire, and how much you expect each goal to cost.
- Have an emergency fund. Have at least three months' income in a high-yield savings account that can be easily accessed.