Financial Literacy

What is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy refers to one's ability to understand and manage their finances in a responsible manner. This includes having a high level of understanding when it comes to the topics of handling money, budgeting, dealing with credit, investing, protecting your identity, and debt. For additional information on financial literacy, explore financialsuccess.fsu.edu.

Why is Financial Literacy so important?

Understanding your finances enables you to make sound decisions both now and in your future. In a college environment there are many complicated, difficult financial decisions that are often being made for the first time. By making the choice to stay informed and seek out resources to understand the impact of their financial decisions, students are significantly more likely to succeed and avoid common financial pitfalls. Having strong financial literacy can decrease and eliminate debt as well as help you to build credit and achieve financial stability.

Financial Literacy Topics

Budgeting

While the income you make is very important, how you spend that money is equally important. You should always have a planned, well-thought out budget to control your spending and keep you from overspending. Always keep track of how much money you are spending and set limits on how much money you spend on certain things (for example limiting yourself to $150 per month when dining out). Prioritize spending your money on your costs of living, which typically includes your rent, food, utility bill, and any other expense that you need to pay to sustain your standard of living. Also make sure you have money to pay your tuition and other related fees every semester. To help you get an estimation of your average annual expenses while in college, check out our Net Price Calculator and Budget Worksheet

Loans

If you are unable to afford the costs of attending college, loans can be a helpful tool in meeting your financial needs. Student loans, which can be received from the federal government or a private lender, are a means of borrowing money that you pay back gradually over a fixed period of time at a fixed interest rate. However, it is very important to understand the requirements of a loan so that you can make an informed decision before taking one out. Please view some of these resources below to understand the requirements of a loan and the process of repaying it

Identity Protection

The following are measures you should be mindful of at all times to protect your identity:

  • Never give out your social security number or bank account information to a person or website that you have not thoroughly verified
  • Never click on links from a suspicious email from someone asking you to verify your personal information. If you get an email from a bank or other similar institution claiming there is a problem with your account, go to their website or call the bank directly but do not follow the links given in the email
  • Frequently check your bank account to ensure there is no suspicious activity on it
  • If you see suspicious activity on your account or payments you do not recall making, contact your bank immediately to freeze your accounts until the issue has been resolved

How can I learn more about Financial Success?

The following resources can help you understand and improve your financial situation:

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