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by the numbers

Educational opportunity

$2,500

The annual value of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, one of several educational advantages available to students.

simple strategies

50/20/30

One common approach to budgeting is the 50/20/30 strategy, which helps you make good choices by keeping things simple.

Credit cards

32%

The percent of college students nationwide who have missed or been late on a credit-card payment. Learn to build good credit from the start.

table of contents

How to budget

The basics of budgeting are simple: track your income, your expenses, and what’s left over—and then see what you can learn from the pattern.

How to bank

Not all financial institutions are created equal. We’ll guide you to choose one that is a good fit for you, and help you start building your savings and credit.

How to do taxes

Your education-related expenses may qualify you for deductions and credits. You can start here for a basic overview, and visit the IRS website or consult a tax professional for more advice.

Key terms for money management

Fixed expenses
Fixed expenses are those which do not change from month to month. This can include your rent, utilities, credit card bills, and other monthly payments.
Flexible expenses
Flexible expenses are costs that are easily changed, reduced, or eliminated. Spending money on entertainment and clothing are flexible expenses. Even expenses that must be incurred, like groceries, are considered flexible because the amount you spend can vary.
Credit score
A measure of creditworthiness based on your financial history. It is most often represented as a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 900, and is sometimes called a FICO score. You can develop a good credit score by paying bills and loans on time.
Learn good habits now →