Dear NYU,

As you may know, NYU's primary mission is to be a top international center of scholarship, teaching and research. Part of teaching stretches beyond what is learned in the classroom. At NYU, we want all members of our community to make sound financial decisions.

Did you know April was declared Financial Literacy Month? In 2004 Sen. Daniel K Akaka [D-HI] introduced a bill to mark April as Financial Literacy Month. The bill was introduced to raise public awareness about the importance of financial education in the United States passed Senate without amendment.

For the month of April 2018, NYU's Financial Education program will send out weekly emails with tips to help you advance your overall financial education.

This is the perfect time to focus on your personal finances and take steps to make sure you are on the right track for a financially successful future!

Sincerely,

Ms. Natasha Bean
Program Director
NYU Financial Education

Budgeting

Living in New York city and attending school poses a unique challenge. Because NYU is in and of the city, one would be remiss not to take advantage of all the wonderful offerings New York has. As a student, trying to take advantage and avail yourself to many of the wonderful opportunities presented you have to be mindful of the various costs that can add up. This is where budgeting comes in.

A budget is creating a plan to track and spend your money. Simple, right?

Check out this guide on Everything You Need to Know About Budgeting.

If you would like a great interactive tool to help create and stick to a budget, you can visit iGrad, NYU's everyday financial education resource to utilize their model.

Finally, budgeting does not have to be hard, in fact it can be fun and easy! Here are Seven Ways to Budget without Budgeting.

Start your financial journey today!

Making a Savings Plan: One George Washington at a Time

Last week, we talked about the importance of budgeting and how you can create your own worksheet and track your spending. This week, we’ll talk about ways to save, and how you can incorporate that into your everyday lives.

Summer Employment

Summer is a great time to save! Fewer classes usually means more flexibility to work and hence more money. Now’s the perfect time to get your resume in shape and start looking for summer work. Be sure to utilize the Wasserman Center for Career Development and the many services they provide, including searching for a job/internship, meeting with a career coach, resume review and more.

Savings and Traveling Abroad - How?

Are you thinking of studying abroad in the summer or even next semester? What is the currency exchange rate where you intend to go? You should be saving for the expenses associated with traveling abroad now, as well as looking for inexpensive flights and economical lodging. Need help? Check out this quick article on the ins and outs of personal finance abroad.

Savings as a Budget Item

A budget is essentially a list of items that you are paying other people or companies. How about paying yourself? Savings is a way for you to save money for yourself. The best way to save money is to actively and consciously make it a point to save and not wait until you’ve budgeted all other items (entertainment, bills, etc.). No matter how much you are budgeting in the savings column, do it. The point is, it doesn’t take much to save – even if it’s a dollar at a time (that’s George Washington on the dollar bill). Make saving a habit. Don’t procrastinate until you have or make more money.

Why Savings is Important

There are many reasons why you would want to save. You may have long term goals – purchasing a house or a car. You may also have short time goals – planning for a vacation or a wedding. You should also be saving for “rainy days” such as medical emergencies, apartment fixes, car fixes, etc. Making “savings” a priority on your budget can also help you make adjustments on your spending habits.

Savings as a Commitment

Of course, you’ll have to use some strategies to help you with your spending habits. Take a look at your budget. What are things that are “needs” and “wants”? “Needs” are items that fixed expenses. “Wants” are items that you can list as discretionary. To change your spending habits, you will have to examine your expenses, and look to find alternatives to some of your expenditures. Maybe it’s brewing your own coffee versus buying a cup every day or eating out less every week. Whatever you have identified as an area you can reduce, commit to the plan!

Ways to save

There are several apps out there that can help make savings convenient and a reality. Apps like Mint and Cash App are free and help manage your cash, bank accounts and credit cards. Download one on your phone to get started!

The Power of Compound Interest

The reason savings should start immediately is because of the power of compound interest. Consider this: June has saved $50 and will earn 2% interest rate a year. How much would she have saved in 5 years? With the power of compound interest, she would end up with $124.42 in 5 years. This increase is just from a one time savings of $50. If you consistently add money to your savings, you could end up with more money at the end!

Still not convinced? Take a look at these savings lies we tell ourselves and kick start your savings plan now!

Ready to commit to a savings plan? Take on a 52 week savings plan challenge and share your experience with us @NYUFinancialEducation