Budgeting Tips for College Students | Mint Student Finance Tips Video

Transcript

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-Hi, I’m Aaron Patzer, founder and CEO of mint.com.
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Today, I want to talk to you about managing
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your money at college.
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That’s important because, well, college is expensive.
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Sometimes, it’s really, really expensive.
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At the same time, you don’t have a lot of money,
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and you need to make it stretch.
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-I’m altogether with rent and utilities it comes out to $432
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a month.
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-$650 a month.
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-How are you going to pay for it?
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-That’s a good question.
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I might be in debt soon.
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-And lastly, it’s college.
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You still have to have fun.
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You still have to go on spring break.
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You still need to date.
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You still need to go out with your friends
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every once and a while, but maybe not too often.
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It’s a challenge.
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So what do you do?
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First, set a budget.
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List all the expenses like tuition
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and books and things where you really can’t control the cost.
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And then figure out how much you have left over
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for things where you can control the cost.
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And at college, I would say the big two
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are really where you live and your meal plan.
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-Last year I lived in the dorms, and next year I’m
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going to be living in the most desirable place, which
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is ridiculously expensive.
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-When I was at school in North Carolina, I lived in a dorm
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without air conditioning.
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And I got to say it was really rough and hot and sticky
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for a few days out of the year, but it saved me about $1,500
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every semester.
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And then when I had the opportunity,
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I moved to a near campus apartment that had a kitchen,
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and I cooked almost all my meals and I saved a few grand
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every year on a meal plan.
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The result was that when spring rolled around,
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I had plenty of money for spring break.
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And I went to Florida one year.
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I went on a Caribbean cruise the next.
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Had money to spare for dating and all sorts of fun stuff,
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and I didn’t feel deprived.
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Speaking of spring break expenses,
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I had more than a few friends who
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racked up some serious credit card debt.
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-Like if you make your payments and stuff,
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your credit line opens up more.
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And they send out, you know, your reports
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to different credit cards, and you can get more credit cards.
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-Now, credit cards can be a good thing,
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and that’s primarily because they
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help you build your credit history.
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Basically, building your credit history
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means you’re showing the world that, yes, I can take on debt,
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but I can pay it back promptly and not
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get myself into trouble.
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You don’t have to go it alone with your credit card.
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mint.com can help you track your credit card
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expenses so you don’t overspend.
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It can send you an email or an SMS bill reminder
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so you pay your credit card on time
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and build that good history.
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By the way, don’t sign up for a new credit card
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just because they give you a free t-shirt at the credit
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union.
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The best kind of credit cards are
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the ones that give you rewards.
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They give you miles to visit home,
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or they pay you 1% to 3% cash back on everything you spend.
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You can get paid to use your credit card.
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Get one of those.
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And mint.com can help show you what the best credit
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card for you actually is.
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Just use a tool like mint.com to track your expenses.
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Mint links directly to all your checking and savings accounts,
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all your credit cards, your students,
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so you can stay on top of your finances in one place.
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-You know if you’ve got to spend money
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on all these different things like rent and the security
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deposit.
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I have to put that down soon.
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Food, laundry, it all adds up very quickly.
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Gas, so definitely you have to make a good budget.
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-And rather than watch every dollar every single day,
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go onto Mint, set up a budget for bars and restaurants,
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for shopping, for entertainment, even for books if you want to.
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And when you get close to exceeding your budget,
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Mint will email you.
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It’s really that simple.
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You don’t have to keep track of it every single day.
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So in summary, to make it financially in college,
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cut back where you can on things like housing or meal plans.
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Reward your efforts by having fun from time
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to time, but do so without racking up
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a whole lot of credit card debt, and use mint.com
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to stay on top of it all.