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Knowledge for College: Banking Tips for Young Minds

I Doser 2014
Iva Doser
Vice President, Trust Officer
[email protected]
(585) 419-0670 x51984

Going to college is a time of excitement, anticipation and new challenges combined with a dose of anxiety from the unknown. Navigating this new path of independent living can be overwhelming and scary at times. Many young people will have to make decisions for the first time about how to budget their money or consider various financial choices. Managing your money while in college shouldn’t add to the stress of college students, especially considering the effort and determination it takes to earn this money.

Here are some tips for young people navigating the world of banking services and useful information that could save you time and money.

The relationship with your bank doesn’t have to be complicated but rather straightforward with simple options. You want a bank that stands with you, is quick to respond when you need help and ready to offer guidance. It all starts with having your own checking account!

Look for an account with no fees or minimum balance requirements. That will allow you to keep your money and make the most of it.

Pay attention to the accessibility of the funds. Once you make a deposit, it is critical to know when the funds will be available. Some banks hold your deposits for a few days, others provide the next day availability which is better for your cash flow (especially living on a college student budget!).

There are different tools you could use to access your funds in cash or to make payments.

Having a debit card allows you to access cash through the ATM network. Make sure your bank doesn’t charge additional fees to use other banks’ ATM terminals and provides ATM fee rebates. Storing your debit card in a digital wallet is recommended for security and convenience. That will always alleviate the need to carry a plastic card which could be lost or stolen. Digital forms of payment like Apple Pay1 or Google Pay2 are much safer and preferred for more seamless user experience.

Digital banking, online access and mobile banking are other critical pieces in a cashless financial world which is attractive for most college students. Check your bank’s app and app functionality to make sure it is easy to use with all the options that will make your life easier – easy person-to-person payments, mobile check deposits, external bank-to-bank transfers.

Equally important is protecting the safety of your account. Engaging in online payments via a debit card might expose you and your account to fraud. It is prudent to safeguard your debit card with fraud protection with Manage My Debit Card online solution. They can provide protection on all compatible debit cards stored in your phone’s digital wallet.

Building credit is another important topic once you turn 18. Getting a credit card is an opportunity to start building a credit history. If used responsibly, a credit card can be helpful and used instead of a debit card for online shopping. In case of fraud, the risk affiliated with a credit card is limited and carried by the credit card company, not by the consumer. Choose a card with cash back rewards and simple terms and conditions of service. Depending on what best fits your interest and goals, you could choose cash back rewards on everyday purchases or if you study abroad, you might benefit from a card with no foreign transaction fees. To be certain that you cover your balance in full at the end of the grace period (the period in which you could pay without any interest), it is best to set up an online payment directly from your bank checking account.

Don’t be tempted to use a credit card for purchases you won’t be able to cover in the grace period. This is the most certain way to quickly accumulate debt which can’t be easily repaid and could have the adverse effect of ruining your credit instead.

Regardless of what payment methods you prefer, it is critical to pay attention to your available account balance to make sure there are enough funds in the account for intended purchases or charges. Paying non-sufficient fund fees for a small coffee or a sandwich is frustrating and avoidable.

Managing your money, setting up a budget, being mindful of spending habits, eliminating expenses and unnecessary fees are not college classes but important skills for financial success. That will set up a good foundation for future savings opportunities, eliminating additional debt and ruined personal credit.

If you have additional interest in that area or questions regarding this topic, make a stop at your local CNB office before you head out to college.

1Apple, the Apple logo, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Pay and Touch ID are trademarks of Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

2Google Pay, Google Play, and Google are trademarks of Google, LLC.