Financial Literacy Training
Career and Financial Wellness is one of the seven dimensions of wellness that college students—and all people—should pursue for optimal quality of life. Toward that end, SFA offers various opportunities to improve your financial literacy while pursuing your degree. Training topics include managing personal finances and investments efficiently and making good decisions about insurance, savings, investing, retirement and tax planning, saving for college, and more.
SFA has teamed up with CashCourse to provide you with a step-by-step guide for taking charge of your financial life. Use the website to explore financial topics, practice money skills and plan for your future. Other features include presentations, informational guides and tips for everything from setting up a bank account to investing in the stock market. Log in to CashCourse and start improving your financial literacy today!
Budgeting is the foundation of every financial plan. It doesn't matter if you're living paycheck to paycheck or earning six figures a year, you need to know where your money is going if you want to have a handle on your finances. Unlike what you may believe, budgeting isn't all about restricting what you spend money on and cutting out all the fun in your life. It's really about understanding how much money you have and where it goes, and then planning how to best allocate those funds.
Follow the steps below to create a realistic budget to help reach your financial goals.
1. Start With Your Income
The most important step in creating a budget is determining your monthly income. This includes your pay, contributions from family, financial aid refunds and any other type of income you may receive
2. Track Your Monthly Expenses
Next, add up all your expenses for the month. It is easiest to start with your fixed expenses because those costs do not fluctuate from month to month. These expenses could include housing, car payments, insurance, dues, subscriptions, etc. Once you have entered your fixed expenses, it's important to then track all your variable expenses, which often change month to month. Variable expenses could include travel, entertainment, etc.
3. Create Your Budget
Once you have calculated your monthly income and expenses, subtract your expenses from your income. You should have money left over that could be used to build savings, pay down debt and/or cover unexpected costs. If you are spending more money than you are earning in a month, you might need to adjust your budget or seek a second job to boost your monthly income. Use the table below as a guide when creating your monthly budget.
|Misc. / Personal||5-10%|
Spare Change Challenge
Time to pull out that old piggy bank and start saving all your loose change. Anytime you receive coin change, whether it’s pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters, put it in your piggy bank or "Spare Change Challenge Jar.” At the end of each month, deposit the coins you’ve collected into your savings account, and watch your balance grow!
This one is easy: Simply save every $5 bill that finds its way to you throughout the year. When you receive a $5 bill, just don’t spend it! Put it in your savings account to help you reach the long-term financial goals you’re working toward.
365-Day Money Challenge
On the first day of the year, save one cent, and add one cent to your daily savings total each day for 365 days. You’ll save one cent the first day of the year, two cents the second day, three cents the third day, etc. The amount will continue to grow by one cent each day until the last day of the year when you will save $3.65. If you keep up this challenge for the entire year, you will add $667.95 to your savings account!
52-Week Money Challenge
Similar to the daily challenge, you’ll start by depositing $1 in your savings account at the end of the first week of the year. At the end of the second week, deposit $2, and so on, for the rest of the year, ending with a $52 deposit the last week. Students who complete this challenge will save $1,368.
Monthly Savings Challenge
This challenge involves monthly savings deposits throughout the year. The amount increases by $25 each month for the first half of the year and decreases by $25 the second half. Save $25 in January, $50 in February, $75 in March, $100 in April, $125 in May, $150 in June and July, $125 in August, $100 in September, $75 in October, $50 in November, and $25 in December. By the end of the year, you will have saved $1,050.
After reviewing the resources listed below, students should be able to:
Find resources for creating a student loan repayment strategy;
Understand how to use personal finance tools to build practical, lifelong financial skills; and
Access campus resources and other opportunities to help improve basic money management skills.