As students return to school, now is the time to focus on financial literacy. Financial education is an investment in a stable future, especially for today’s students; more than half of those who go to college go into debt and also face more financial stress with today’s economy.
Students can hone 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 its Business Advisors/Branch Managers in person at any of its Northeastern California and Northern Nevada locations or by telephone; Plumas Bank also offers a variety of free online educational resources.
“Financial education empowers students to take control of their finances, now and after graduation,” said Rose Boulade, Vice President and Business Advisor at Plumas Bank. “It also builds positive banking relationships, so students understand the role banks play in the financial success of consumers.”
Plumas Bank has been recognized as a leading financial institution for its contribution to promoting financial stability by American Saves, a campaign that motivates, encourages and helps low-to-moderate income households save money, reduce their debts and to create wealth; Plumas Bank was one of six banks across the country to receive the Designation of Savings Excellence award from the campaign sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America.
The bank offers the following tips to help students take control of their finances:
- Start a budget. Make good use of your smartphone and discover our online services available at the bank to help you manage your finances and track your expenses remotely.
- Repay student loans. It can be tempting to make the minimum monthly payments, but a more aggressive repayment plan can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Some employers will help you pay off your student debt; be sure to ask about this when negotiating your new job.
- Spend responsibly. Shopping and weekend getaways are a great way to recharge after the work week, but can quickly eat into your budget. Research the products you would like to buy, as well as the restaurants and excursions in your price range, and plan accordingly so that these purchases and activities do not become financial hardship.
- Create an emergency fund to cover life’s contingencies and give you greater peace of mind. Start by setting aside $1,000 (the daily cost of a large latte in a year), then pour spare change or a little on each paycheck until you have between three and six months of net salary.
- Plan your retirement. Automate your savings so that a portion of every salary goes directly into a savings account. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan (and any matching contributions) if offered. If you don’t see it, chances are you won’t miss it as much.
“Plumas Bank’s financial education is designed to instill good saving and spending habits that students will carry with them throughout college and into their careers,” Boulade said. “Students who learn financial literacy early have a better chance of achieving their 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.