In 2017, the New Year’s resolution “spend less/save more” was in the top five most searched resolutions. For college students especially, struggling with money is something many people can relate to, so wanting to save more and spend less makes perfect sense. KeyBank, which has recently become the official bank of the UConn men’s basketball team, offers many services that can help students create a financial game-plan for the upcoming year.
Courtney Jinjika, who leads KeyBank’s market retail network of branches in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, provided several tips to help students with their financial planning. These include thinking about your goals (long-term and short term), evaluating last year’s expenses, creating a budget, managing your debt and staying on track.
KeyBank offers several services to help with financial planning. Students and faculty are able to schedule appointments with the bank to go over finances and receive advice on a variety of topics such as budget planning. KeyBank utilizes the tool “HelloWallet,” which is a mobile app and website created for financial planning that allows people to evaluate their spending and offers tools to manage debt and expenses.
“For college students, most importantly, it allows you to think about your goals long term and short term, it has a goal setting tool within it,” Jinjika said of HelloWallet. For example, if you have a specific purchase you would like to make, you can enter the dollar amount that it would cost and the app will help you figure out how to budget it.
Jinjika also offered tips to college students who are looking to become more financially responsible. “We think that evaluating expenses is important. Anticipating certain expenses, things that you want versus things that you need, know that little things add up,” Jinjika said. “We encourage people to spend less than what they make, and dedicate a percentage of your income to savings.”
As for students who are dealing with loans to pay for tuition, Jinjika recommends meeting with financial experts and planning out how you will be paying back your debt. “Write out what that debt looks like, such as how much your payments are or what your rates are,” Jinjika said. “There are many financial wellness tools out there that can help people… people have lots of options that they can utilize.”
Creating a financial plan can be really important because it helps you think about long-term expenses, which isn’t always easy to do. Focusing only on short-term expenses can lead to falling short on future payments.
KeyBank currently has five branches around the UConn campus, and representatives will be present at several upcoming basketball games to talk about finances with students who may have any questions.
“To achieve your goals you want to stay on track and make sure you have check-ins on a daily, weekly and monthly basis,” Jinjika said. “KeyBank dedicates time to sit down with you and really talk about what is working and not working with your current situation, where you want to be short term and long term and we offer tools such as HelloWallet that can help you stay on track when you don’t have time to check in with a financial expert.”
Melissa Scrivani is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.