College brings a new taste of independence, but with that independence comes learning how to manage your own finances.

Whether it's setting up your own savings account, getting a part-time job, or off-setting expenses with a work study program, students can learn many ways to properly manage their own funds and use Citizens Bank as a resource for budgeting tips and information on college loans. Citizens Bank can provide advice for college students prepping for a more financially independent life. Some topics:

â?¢ â??Open a checking account with a debit card, and utilize online and mobile banking to track spending. Using a debit card allows you to only spend what you have. Sign up for overdraft protection in the case you overspend. Online and mobile banking allow you to manage your money any time and any place so you can transfer money, check balances, pay bills and set up alerts -- even if it's from the library at 2 a.m.

â?¢ Off-set expenses with a budget. Most information needed to draft a budget is readily available to students and parents. Collect pay stubs, tax returns, utility bills, credit card statements, loan statements, receipts, insurance bills, etc. to get started. Once you've gathered all the necessary information, it's time to add up your total income and subtract your total expenses.

â?¢ Milk your student status. Lots of places around campus will give you a discount simply for being a student. Look for places that offer savings when you show your student I.D. like the book store or local coffee shop.

â?¢ Secure a part-time job. There are often plenty of jobs on or near campuses that have flexible work schedules just for students. If a student has a job, they can set up automatic savings so they get in the habit of paying themselves first.

â?¢ Choose (and use) a credit card wisely. A credit card can be helpful if you end up in an emergency situation or medical emergency. It can also be helpful when you don't have all the necessary cash for a major purchase upfront. But, if you use a credit card, only charge what you can afford to pay off each month. Be sure to do your research on credit card interest rates. Choose a card that is right for you -- whether it's one with a low- or no-interest rate for the first year or a perks card.


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