The Financial Wellness Center helps empower students to confidently navigate their personal finances and achieve their goals. Through free, one-on-one financial coaching, workshops, and digital resources, our Center can help you navigate a wide range of financial topics, including how to pay for college, navigate the FAFSA, budget, and manage credit and debt.
Creating a Budget
A budget is your own personal money plan. It helps you organize your finances and achieve your goals. Acting as a guide, your budget allows you see where your money comes from and helps you determine how it should be spent. Tracking your spending and keeping your expenses lower than your income will allow you to grow your savings and avoid unnecessary debt.
Your budget can be based around a month or a semester, whichever is easiest for you. To help you build your first budget, we’ve provided two downloadable templates. You can complete them with Excel or print them out and do them by hand. If you prefer something more interactive, you can use a free budgeting app, like mint.com.
Saving as a Student
Saving for future goals and emergencies is an important part of developing financial wellness. At one time or another, we will all experience an unexpected financial emergency. That could be a medical bill, car repairs, or a surprise ticket. Having money in savings makes these emergencies an inconvenience rather than a catastrophe.
You may think your budget is too tight to save, but even small savings can add up over time. The two charts below break saving down into easy goals by week. Tape a chart to your wall and with just a few dollars each week, you can save $500 or $1000 in a year!
Credit has impact on many facets of our lives. Your credit history affects the fees and interest rates you will be expected to pay when you take out an auto loan, mortgage, or any other type of loan. Landlords may check your credit when you rent an apartment and 30% of employers now run credit checks during the hiring process.
Navigating Credit Card Use
Credit cards are one of the most widely used forms of credit. A credit card allows you to borrow money in real time, up to a predetermined limit. Responsible credit card use can be a great way to build your credit history and boost your score.
While there are many positives to credit cards, they can also cause problems if you are not well informed. Your credit card limit is not additional income. Every time you pay for something on a card, you are responsible for paying it back. If you do not pay off your balance each month, you will be responsible for that value PLUS any accrued interest.
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One on One Coaching Appointment
Working one-on-one with a financial coach is a great way to define your goals, make an action plan, and get answers to your financial questions. All UMKC students are eligible for free, one-on-one financial coaching sessions. Coaches can help students create a budget, make a plan to pay for college, understand student loans and repayment, and navigate credit.
To schedule a financial coaching appointment, please contact our Financial Wellness Coordinator, Anna Zimmerman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a Presentation
Workshops and presentations are available by request to all student organizations, staff, and faculty at UMKC. Presentation length, content, and delivery method can be customized to meet the needs of your audience. To schedule a presentation, please contact our Financial Wellness Coordinator, Anna Zimmerman, at email@example.com. We ask that you request a presentation at least two weeks in advance.