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Financial Awareness Best Practices for Student-Athletes

A resource provided by NCAA leadership development

  1. Do your research when choosing a bank. There are many choices and things to consider, such as special college student rates, account balance minimums, ATM charges and locations, overdraft fees, etc.
  2. Create a budget. Are you living on or off campus? When are your housing, meal or cost-of-attendance cash-outs? First use your money for rent, bills and groceries. Then look ahead to determine how much you need to save for upcoming expenses. This will be your reality check on how much you have for other items like new clothes or going out.

    Bills/costs to consider:
    • Rent: living alone or with roommates? If you receive a housing cash-out, is your rent more/less/equal to the amount of the cash-out?
    • Renters insurance.
    • Car insurance.
    • Power bills (electric and/or gas).
    • Water/sewer/trash.
    • Cellphone.
    • Cable.
    • Internet.
    • Parking permit (apartment or on campus).
    • Gas.
    • Groceries.
  3. Create a savings account. Are you saving money? Unexpected costs can occur, such as emergency transportation home, car repair or other miscellaneous expenses. 
  4. Pay on time. Make a habit of paying your bills on time, every time, to avoid wasting money on late fees. Action item: Do any of your bills have an auto-pay option?  Sign up for this to avoid missing payments. If auto-pay is not available, create a calendar and set reminders. Know when you have money coming in and the days your bills are due.
  5. Check your balance. Keep up with your spending by checking your account balance regularly. Look at the available balance and subtract any bills you recently paid to figure out how much money is available in your account.  Action item: Register for online banking, which is an easy way to check your balance regularly.
  6. Protect your identity. College students can be easy prey for identity thieves. Avoid checking your bank balance on a public computer. If you must use one, be sure to log out of your account completely and clear the cache on the web browser. Don’t forget to be secure on your cellphone; make sure you are on a secure server if you are connected on Wi-Fi and checking your account information.
  7. Don’t abuse credit cards. Your credit card history is the basis for a credit score/rating. Signing up for a credit card just to get a T-shirt is not a good idea. If you need a credit card, research the interest rates and rewards before you commit. A poor history of credit card debt can negatively impact your credit score, which will decrease your purchasing power on large purchases requiring loans (i.e., cars or homes).

On-campus resources:

  • Financial aid office
  • Business or accounting school
  • Career services
  • Compliance office - regarding dates/amounts of cash-outs

Other resources:

Check credit history: