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August 28, 2023

Back to School: Money Management Tips

At Citizens First Bank, we know that the back-to-school season is an exciting time for students and parents alike. As the summer break comes to an end, it’s essential to not only prepare for the academic challenges ahead but also to ensure that your financial well-being is in check. Whether you’re a student heading off to college or a parent supporting your child’s education journey, practicing smart money management is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some practical and savvy financial tips that will help both students and parents navigate the back-to-school season with confidence. 

Set a Realistic Back to School Budget 

Before you embark on a back-to-school shopping spree, take the time to create a realistic budget. List all the necessary expenses, including tuition fees, textbooks, school supplies, clothing, and living expenses (mainly for students living away from home). Make sure your budget covers both one-time expenses and ongoing costs throughout the semester. By setting a clear budget, you’ll have a better understanding of your financial limitations and can avoid overspending. 

Compare Textbook Options 

For a lot of students, textbooks can be a significant expense for students. Instead of automatically purchasing brand-new textbooks, explore more cost-effective options. Consider renting, buying used, or even borrowing textbooks from the library. You can also explore digital alternatives or e-books, which are often cheaper than physical copies. This simple switch can save you a substantial amount over the course of your academic year. Although most public school systems offer free textbooks rental, secondary education institutions do not always offer that as an option.  

Embrace Second-Hand Shopping 

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to mean buying everything brand new. Check out thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces for gently used clothing, furniture, and other items. This approach not only saves money but also promotes sustainability by reducing your environmental impact. 

Take Advantage of Student Discounts 

Many retailers, restaurants, and service providers offer special discounts for students. Make sure to take advantage of these deals by carrying your student ID and asking about available discounts wherever you go. Whether it’s a discounted meal or transportation fees, these small savings can add up over time. 

Explore Back to School Part-Time Job Opportunities 

For students looking to earn extra money during the school year, part-time job opportunities can provide financial stability and valuable work experience. Look for on-campus job openings or explore remote freelance work that can fit into your class schedule. Just be sure to create a healthy balance between work life and academic studies. 

If you do decide to take on a part-time job, make sure that you consider opening your first checking or savings account with us at Citizens First Bank. With personalized options for everyone, we want to be your first choice when it comes to your finances.  

Utilize Financial Apps and Tools for Back to School Budgeting  

There are various financial apps and tools that can help you track your expenses, set savings goals, and manage your budget effectively. From apps that categorize your spending to tools that offer investment advice, these resources can empower both students and parents to make informed financial decisions. 

Communicate Openly 

For parents and students, open communication about finances is key. Parents, have an honest conversation with your child about budgeting, financial responsibilities, and any support you can provide. Students, keep your parents informed about your expenses, challenges, and financial goals. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and can work together to achieve financial success. 

As the back-to-school season approaches, all of us at Citizens First Bank believe that implementing these smart money management tips can set the stage for a successful and financially sound academic year. By creating a budget, exploring cost-effective options, and leveraging discounts, you can make the most of your educational experience without unnecessary financial stress. Remember, being financially savvy isn’t just a one-time effort—it’s a lifelong skill that will come in handy for a future that is beyond an academic journey.


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