Money Management for Students
Money management tips
Financial aid is intended to cover a very modest student lifestyle, including only the basics: tuition and fees, food and housing, books, and a small amount for personal expenses such as clothing, laundry, haircuts, etc. To help guide you through your journey here at Central Michigan University, read more about money management tips.
Click here for further information on our estimated Cost of Attendance
Ask yourself: Do I really need this?
If you are taking out student loans to cover "extras", ask yourself if you really want to be paying interest years after graduation for things you could do without for now? Your time at CMU is a terrific chance to meet and mingle with people of many interests and cultures. Think of this as a free source of entertainment and enrichment.
Don't borrow more than you need.
If you don't need the entire loan you are offered, just reduce your loan on Central Link under "Financial Aid Portal".
Consider your living arrangement.
Is that luxury apartment really a good deal? Do the math. If you live on campus, your "rent" includes all the food you need (even prepared for you with no dishes to do!), high-speed internet, and you can walk to your classes. In an apartment, in addition to your rent, you will have to find your roommate(s), purchase and cook your own food, get yourself to class, come up with a rent deposit, pay for utilities, and possibly buy furniture.
Be careful with credit cards!
If you don't have the cash for a purchase, you probably can't afford it. However, if you have a reasonable budget for personal expenditures and can pay off your credit card in full each month, you will be building good credit for your future.
Give yourself an allowance.
Creating a budget can be intimidating. Rest easy, it’s not as hard as it seems. The real challenge is sticking to it. Learn more about budgeting through the Financial Wellness Collaborative.
Direct deposit is your friend.
Have your earnings and financial aid deposited into your savings or checking account and take it out only when you need it.
If you're not working, why not?
Working 15 hours a week could earn you $150/week or more. In addition to providing that income, your job could help you budget your time, increase your contacts, and build your skills and resume for your future career. Check out the Student Employment Services website for further information regarding on-campus jobs.