Balancing the Basics
Today for students, it's simply not enough to make, spend and save money. Nor is it safe to assume "more is better." How much money you make may not be as important as how your money is managed.Successfully managing your money is the key in determining and achieving financial goals. Luckily, managing your money is easier than you think, it just takes practice.
A checking account is often the banking account people use most. It offers a convenient way of making payments without using cash, and provides some security since only authorized individuals can withdraw money from the account. It is also an easy way to see where you spend your money, which is an important step in balancing your budget.
Every bank offers many kinds of checking accounts -- each with special features designed to meet a variety of needs. How do you know which one is right for you? Ranee Volkers, U.S. Bank consumer checking product manager suggests that students should look for banks that offer checking accounts that have low to no minimum balance, a free check card, ATM machines near or on campus, and free internet account access.
Volkers notes that, "At U.S. Bank our checking products make it easy for students to manage their money today while building a positive financial history for tomorrow. School may take the student far from home, but internet banking guarantees there is a bank location as close as their PC. With our Checking That Pays option, student customers can earn up to 1 percent cash back every time they use their check card to buy books, gas, pizza -- whatever. Over a school year that could be hundreds of dollars."
One smart banking choice for today's student is a prepaid spending card like the U.S. Bank Visa Buxx card. Since it is a prepaid spending card, not a credit card, you can't spend more than you can afford. It also helps you stay on top of your balance with real time account information. Use the card to buy the things that you want or need. Then log into your password protected U.S. Bank Visa Buxx Web site (www.usbank.com/visabuxx) for up-to-the-minute balance information and transaction details. With a few clicks of your mouse you can get full details of your spending and deposit activity. The online balance tracker is a great tool to use in developing account management skills. Knowing your balance means you'll always be in control and you'll never have to worry about overspending your account. The U.S. Bank Visa Buxx card makes it easy to keep an eye on your bottom line.
Credit Cards are also a popular choice of payment with today's 18- and 19-year-olds. They are easy to use and convenient and can be used in almost any store worldwide. With credit cards you have a record of the things you buy. Credit Cards can demonstrate your financial maturity and stability. But, like all forms of credit, credit cards can work for or against you. Pay promptly and you will look good in the financial files and are on your way to establishing a positive credit history. However, if you miss payments, it can make a negative impact on your credit history.
The U.S. Bank College Visa Card might be the right financial tool for students with an annual income of less than $12,000 who are currently enrolled in a two- to four-year college or university program. The U.S. Bank College Visa Card gives you the freedom to live your own life, make your own decisions, and manage your own finances. With a College Visa Card, you won't pay an annual fee if you make at least one purchase a year, and it's welcomed everywhere Visa is accepted -- at 22 million places and counting, including ATMs.
Cash comes in handy for late night pizza, but a Credit Cards is an easier, safer way to pay for many expenses on and off campus. Books, travel, and in an emergency -- if your car breaks down or you're caught without funds -- your U.S. Bank College Visa Card can be a real lifesaver. Plus, as a responsible user of your U.S. Bank College Card, you'll be establishing a solid credit rating -- something you'll need when you're ready to buy a car or house.
Another great way to establish good credit and pay for college tuition is student loans. Once you graduate or leave school and it comes time to repay your student loan, you can establish a positive credit record and often can lower your loan's interest rate by paying your loan on time each month. The most common type of loan, Federal Stafford (student) Loans allow students to defer their payments while the student is in school and six months after graduating or leaving. This gives you a chance to find employment prior to beginning repayment. U.S. Bank is a national student loan lender offering a full range of college loans including Federal Stafford (student) loans, Federal PLUS (parent) loans, and supplemental loans when federal loans don't cover all the costs.
Internet Banking is a popular choice for students who like to be able to do their banking anytime, anywhere you have Internet access. You will be able to review account information, student loan information, credit card statements, transfer funds, and even pay your bills online, all with the click of a mouse … and all on your schedule.
Make an honest evaluation of your lifestyle and your financial needs to help you decide what financial products and tools are right for you. Whether it's a checking account, a Visa Buxx card, a credit card, student loan or Internet banking, U.S. Bank can provide all of these financial products and services for you. Stop by any of their branches, visit usbank.com, or call (800) USBANKS to find out how U.S. Bank can help you manage your money and meet your financial goals.
Courtesy of ARA Content