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Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is having an understanding of your financial situation and managing finances in such a way that you are prepared for financial challenges and changes. Maintaining that balance consists of being comfortable with where your money comes from and where it is going.

73.3% of UC students reportedly always or sometimes feel stressed out because of their financial situation. Going to college is usually the first experience in becoming financially independent. To be financially successful after college, it is important to be educated about finances.

Piggy Bank


  • Budgeting is a written plan for spending your money
    • Income vs. Expenses: 22.7% of UC students always create a monthly budget to plan income and expenses
  • Steps to creating a budget
    • Track all your expenses for 1 month
    • Prepare a budget worksheet (monthly, quarterly, yearly)
    • Prioritize expenses: Necessary vs. Discretionary expenses
    • Remember to budget money for savings
    • Look at what you find, are you spending more than you are making? Are there ways to stretch your money?
    • Adjust your budget periodically based on realistic spending and goals


  • Automatically deposit 10% of income into savings account
  • Save 3-6 months worth of expenses
  • Only withdrawl savings for emergencies or when you've reached your goal
  • Shop smart! Utilize coupons and sales, shop second-hand
  • Learn how to find less expensive ways to enjoy entertainment and activities

Credit Cards

  • Having and using a credit card wisely is a common tool used to build a good credit history, however irresponsible use can ruin a person’s credit score for up to 7 years
  • 50.4% of UC students have a credit card
  • Pay off the balance in full each month. The more you owe, the harder it can be to pay off the debt due to high interest rates that constantly cumulate the debt
  • Bad credit can make renting an apartment, borrowing money or buying a car/house difficult or even impossible
  • 75% of UC students do not know their current credit score
  • If you get into credit card trouble, get help!
  • All in all, remember, there is no easy answer to the credit card decision. It depends on the person, the credit card company, and the individual situation


  • Try to take out the smallest loan possible to accomplish your goal. Remember you will need to repay the loan plus interest in the future.
  • Loans also affect your credit score just as a credit card would.
  • When you apply for a loan, be sure you understand the interest rate, the fees, the terms and any other features. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Investing and Retirement

  • Investing your money for retirement as early as possible is important because the more time your money is invested, the more it accumulates
  • Determine your goals
  • Learn about the various investing options and do your research before making decisions