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Manage Money

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Savvy Saints
The financially Savvy Saints is an initiative piloted by WellU Financial and is designed to improve the financial confidence and money management habits of students at The College of St. Scholastica. Peer mentors organize and facilitate a variety of personal finance educational experiences, including class presentations, workshops, and campus community events. Mentors encourage students to become good stewards of their fiscal resources by equipping them with the tools necessary to achieve their short and long-term financial goals. 

Savvy Saints Mentors: St. Scholastica currently has one financial mentor, Kailee Ogden, to work with students on advancing their personal finance knowledge. A second mentor, Cody Brostrom, will be joining us in the fall. Watch for activities sponsored by our student mentors! Please feel free to send questions to Savvy Saints at savvysaints@css.edu.

Important Resources:

OneStop Student Services: onestop.css.edu

CashCourse: www.cashcourse.org

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): www.fafsa.gov

Coming to College: Are Your Finances in Order?
Whether you're a new or continuing student, follow the steps below to assure your finances are in order for the upcoming fall semester.

Have you filed your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. They provide over $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 15 million students paying for college. In order to receive student aid, including state and federal, you must complete the FAFSA. You can fill out the application here. For more information on Federal Student Aid, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov.

The following video is a step-by-step tutorial on completing the FAFSA application.

Review the following video for descriptions of the types of federal student aid.

Have you received your award letter?
If you have completed the FAFSA and fulfilled any additional requirements set forth by Federal Student Aid, you should receive your award letter from The College of St. Scholastica sometime this summer. For inquiries regarding the status of your award letter, please contact OneStop Student Services toll-free at 877-287-8716 or email onestop@css.edu.

Have you applied for student loans?
Once you have received your award letter, you can start applying for student loans. To accept your federal loans, log into COR and click on the "OneStop" tab at the top of the homepage. On the left-hand side of the "OneStop" page, there will be a box labeled "Financial Aid Awards." Below, the option will be listed to "Accept Federal Loans." If you are a first time borrower, be sure to complete entrance counseling and a master promissory note at www.studentloans.gov. Keep track of Federal loans in the National Student Loan Data System at www.nslds.ed.gov.
To apply for private loans, log into COR and click on the "OneStop" tab at the top of the homepage. In the middle of the "OneStop" page, there will be a checklist entitled "OneStop Student Services Checklist." Number six, part b will provide a guide for applying for private student loans, but it is not a comprehensive list. Please research all options for loans, and please direct any questions to OneStop Student Services toll-free at 877-287-8716 or email onestop@css.edu.

piggy bank on a beach picture Summertime Savings
Whether you're living at home, working part-time jobs, limiting spending, or a combination of the three, summer vacation can be a great opportunity to save money. On the other hand, summer staples such as concert tickets, nights out, and road trips can be major money drains. But with a little planning, you can go into fall semester with savings that will last you through the school year.

1. Create a Budget
By creating a free account at www.cashcourse.org, you'll have access to tons of free, financial resources that will help you with everything from creating a budget to understanding your student loans. You can create a comprehensive, monthly spending plan here.

2. Define Your Needs and Wants
When creating a spending plan and trying to live on limited funds, it's helpful to carefully consider what is a need and what is a want. You probably understand that while food is a need, a latte is a want. But some mornings, after working especially late the night before, a latte might begin to feel more like a need. Coffee may be a need in that particular instance, but a gourmet coffee drink probably isn't. Click here for help in determining your needs and wants.

 3. Determine Your Savings Goal
While you've created a budget for the summer months, you will likely need to alter it for the academic year. A few questions to keep in mind are:

• How many hours can I expect to work during the school year?
• Will my credit load limit the amount of hours I can work?
• How will I be paying my tuition and living expenses? (Be sure to include rent, utilities, and tuition payments in your budget if applicable.)

After you've adjusted your budget, you'll know just how much you have to save over the summer months for the academic year ahead.

4. Pay Yourself First
Paying yourself first means that you're making savings your first priority after taking care of your expenses or needs. Place savings above spending for things like movies, concert tickets, and eating out. By dividing your savings goal by the number of summer paychecks you'll receive, you'll know just how much of each paycheck to put towards your goal. You can add this amount to the spending plan worksheet you started in step one. 

5. Follow These Tips to Quickly Achieve Your Summer Savings Goal and More!

Sign up for automatic deposit of your paycheck by your employer if you haven't done so already. You can direct the money to your checking or savings account. This is safer than cashing your check and being tempted to spend it while you have it in hand. What you don't see, you won't miss!

Set up an automatic transfer to savings from your checking account each month. Your financial institution usually can set the date of the automatic transfer for the day (or a few days after) your paycheck is deposited. If you bank online, you may have the ability to set this up yourself.

Deposit all extra income such as tax refunds, raises, bonuses, and even gifts of money into savings before you have a chance to spend it. You received it in the form of a check? No problem! Use a banking app to deposit a paper check with your smartphone. Sign the check and use your phone's camera to take a picture of the front and back of the check. The banking app will send the photos to your bank, where they're processed electronically.

After you've reached your summer savings goal, don't stop there! Establish an emergency savings fund that will enable you to pay unexpected bills or cover the cost of a necessary car repair. Other savings options are also available to you, such as certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts. While their higher interest rates may be enticing, BEWARE! When you open a CD, you agree to have your money unavailable to you for a specified period of time. Should you need the cash sooner, you'll be charged a hefty early withdrawal penalty. The minimum balance to open a money market account is steep - usually $1,000 - $10,000, and you may be able to make only a few withdrawals per month.

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