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One of the most important lessons you can learn as a young adult is one you probably won’t be taught in a classroom – how to manage your money. But mastering these skills early will give you an edge when it comes to handling your finances.
Here are 5 money management basics from Brenda Messerschmidt, Bell Bank’s Moorhead branch manager:
If you don’t already have one, open a checking account. It’s a lot safer than keeping cash in your dorm room or apartment. You can often simplify your finances by setting up your paycheck and financial aid to be deposited directly into your account and your bills to be automatically paid from your account.
When looking for a bank, make sure to pay attention to whether the bank charges fees or requires a minimum balance. Bank Face Off can help you compare banks.
At Bell, you get America’s Best Checking with no minimum balance or service charge and free features like unlimited free withdrawals at 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide, plus we'll refund your first 4 fees from any other domestic ATM on each monthly statement.
Take control of your finances by coming up with a spending plan. First, track your spending for a month or so to figure out how you typically spend your money. Then, plan your budget so you prioritize your needs over your wants. Once you subtract your essential expenses from your income, you’ll know how much flexibility you have for things like concerts and eating out.
When calculating your spending plan, make sure to include saving as one of your essential expenses. Even saving a little bit of money each month adds up over time. Then you’ll have it for emergencies or to help with your college costs. If you’re working, you can direct part of your paycheck right into your savings account.
Once you’ve figured out a spending plan, stick to it by regularly monitoring your money. Review your transactions at least once a month – to make sure you’re following your plan, watch for fraudulent activity and ensure you haven’t been double-charged for a purchase.
With Bell’s free CardValet® mobile app, you can set debit card spending limits or specify thresholds by merchant types, such as gas, groceries or retail stores.
Online and mobile banking make it easy to review your transactions. With the Bell Bank Mobile app, you can:
Identity theft and fraud are big problems – especially among college students. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says college students are more likely to be victims of identity theft. Protect yourself by deleting suspicious emails, never giving out personal or financial information over email, and be warry of offers that seem too good to be true.
When you’re a Bell customer, we arm you with several free fraud-fighting tools.
If you need some help, our knowledgeable bankers can answer your questions. Contact us to get started.
* CardValet is a registered trademark of Fiserv, Inc.
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