Money, Money, Money: A Q&A for New Students

July 23rd, 2014

by Tom Honsinger, Dean of Students Marketing and Strategic Communications Assistant

Before I came to BU, I had some questions about money. I was about to be the most financially independent I’ve ever been and I wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into so that I wouldn’t have to call home to ask for money every weekend. Here are some of the questions I had and the answers I found:
Q: How much money should I have per semester?
A: The amount of money you’ll need varies person-to-person and depends on your lifestyle. If you take advantage of your dining plan, you won’t have to spend as much as those who buy groceries or eat out. If you hate clothes shopping as much as I do, then you won’t have to worry about budgeting extra for that but if you love it, be careful – there are a lot of stores ready to take your money. You can get through a semester without spending a fortune; it just takes a strong will and good planning.

Q: How do I get a job on campus?
A: There are a few different ways to make money here at BU. If you are awarded Work-Study, you can find a job on campus on the Work-Study Job Directory on the Student Link. You can also work for other offices on campus if you don’t have a Work-Study Award. These jobs are listed on the Job Board on the Student Link. There you will also find off-campus jobs. If you need some quick cash and don’t want the commitment of having a job, there are also Quickie Jobs.
Q: When should I get a job?
A: If possible, try starting school without a job. That way, you will know what you can handle in addition to your coursework. This will also give you the chance to get involved with other aspects of campus life. I had a job this past semester and still had time to get all of my work done and stay involved in clubs, so it is possible to balance it all.
Q: What bank should I use?
A: Bank of America and Citizens bank are the most convenient banks to use on campus – both have offices and ATMs in the GSU. There are also Santander Bank and Citibank locations close to campus as well.
Need more help managing your money? Check out Smart Money 101 (http://www.bu.edu/smartmoney101/) for tips on how to budget, manage your credit card and more.

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