As students head back to school, now is the time to focus on financial literacy. Financial education is an investment for a stable future, especially for today’s students; more than half of those who go to college take on student debt and also face more financial stress with today’s economy.
Students can sharpen their financial skills by creating a plan that incorporates their short and long-term financial goals. Locally owned Plumas Bank offers the opportunity to meet with one of their business advisers/ branch managers in person at one of their locations in Northeast California and Northern Nevada or over the phone; Plumas Bank also offers a variety of free online educational resources.
“Financial education empowers students to take control of their finances, both now and after graduation,” said Rose Boulade, vice president and business advisor at Plumas Bank. “This also builds positive banking relationships, so students understand the role banks play in consumer financial success.”
Plumas Bank has been recognized as a leading financial institution for helping promote financial stability by America Saves, a campaign that motivates, encourages, and supports low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth; Plumas Bank was one of six banks across the country to receive the Designation of Savings Excellence (DOSE) award from the campaign sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America. Consumer Federation of America.
The bank offers the following tips to help students take control of their finances:
- Start a budget. Put your smartphone to good use and learn about our online services available at the bank to help you manage your finances and track your spending remotely.
- Pay off student loans. It may be tempting to make the minimum monthly payments, but a more aggressive repayment plan can save you thousands in the long run. Some employers will help you pay off your student debt; make sure to ask about this when negotiating your new job.
- Spend responsibly. Shopping and weekend getaways are a great way to recharge from the work week but can quickly eat away at your budget. Research the products you’d like to buy, along with restaurants and excursions in your price range and plan accordingly so these purchases and activities don’t become a financial hardship.
- Establish an emergency fund to cover life’s unexpected events and give you greater peace of mind. Start by putting away $1,000 (the daily cost of a tall latte in a year) then contribute spare change or a little from each paycheck until you have between three to six months of net pay.
- Plan for retirement. Automate your savings so that a portion of each paycheck goes directly into a savings account. Take advantage of your employers’ 401(k) plan (and any matching contributions) if offered. If you don’t see it, chances are you won’t miss it so much.
“Plumas Bank’s financial education is designed to instill good saving and spending habits that students will carry with them through the rest of college and into their careers,” Boulade said. “Students who learn financial literacy early have a better chance of reaching long-term personal financial goals.”
Students and parents can test their knowledge of everyday financial topics by taking the “How Money Smart Are You?” quiz created by the FDIC. Visit plumasbank.cm/resources.