Following funds

TaLeiza Calloway

Receipts can clutter wallets and bills are easy to lose. Why bother keeping track of them?

College students and money can be a tricky combination.

Being away from home with no restrictions can lead to extraneous spending, and as a result, unforeseen debt. Because of this, it’s important for students to keep track of what they spend.

Cash can be key

The monitoring of funds is not a problem for sophomore biology major Andrew Numbers. He admits to frequently checking his bank account online as well as making sure he does not run out of money on his meal plan.

“Whenever I buy anything, I usually check online to see that it took the money out of my account,” Numbers said.

Paying close attention when spending money is also a habit for history graduate student Jason Csehi.

Avoiding overdraft fees


Whether it be a shopping spree or a candy bar at the gas station, it is wise for students to keep track of their money. Using a checkbook is an easy way to do this.

Bank account activity involves more than just spending and keeping receipts. One has to know that when a check is written it takes a few days before money is actually withdrawn. Another thing to consider is making sure deposits are recorded to the account, said Karen Duffy, vice president and general manager of the Kent main office of Huntington Bank.

Not paying attention to a bank account can rack up overdraft fees. Though it’s easy to blame banks for these, monitoring accounts isn’t their responsibility. But banks are there to help, Duffy said.

“What I find is that there are a lot of things your bank can do, but you have to help yourself,” she said.

Duffy suggested tips to help college students manage their money including control spending, make a budget, make a deposit before spending money and use a checkbook register.

TaLeiza Calloway

“I keep track of every penny,” he said. “I actually have a ledger that tracks what I spend.”

From saving $21 in pennies one year to writing down purchases to keep a record of costs, Csehi is a selective shopper. For most transactions he pays with cash.

“I pay in cash, that way you know how much money you have,” he said.

Electronic transactions do not appeal to Csehi. If and when he is paying a bill, he occasionally writes a check. His uneasiness results from a company overdrawing his account, leaving him to argue to get his money back, he said.

Receipts and bills: quality documentation

Receipts serve as records and are sometimes the only way to return and exchange items. More importantly, they help consumers keep track of purchases. Saving them, however, is not easy for students like sophomore biology major Jen Piper. Receipts just clutter her purse, she said.

“No matter what I do, I can’t save my receipts,” she said.

Piper uses different ways to monitor spending. She and her husband count their bills and then subtract them from the account balance to make sure they don’t go over, she said.

Banking and technology

Keeping track of money can be hard. It requires practice and, more importantly, close monitoring of purchases. With the invention of credit cards and bank cards, it is easy to simply swipe and go. But there can be downfalls to this system.

Something students may not know is that when they use an ATM the balance they see is not always accurate. These balances are misleading because there are many variables involved, said Karen Duffy, vice president and general manager of the Kent main office of Huntington Bank.

One of the best ways students can better track their accounts is through online banking, Duffy said.

Whatever their method of tracking money, college students frequently battle with their wallets and saving money. What money they do have should be able to be stretched, Csehi said.

“When you have limited funds, you have to get the most out of it,” she said.

For more information about electronic deposits, withdrawals and the overall management of money, visit the FirstGov for Consumers Web site at

Contact features correspondent TaLeiza Calloway at [email protected].