MONEY AND BUDGETING
You can’t find the right place to live until you know how much you can spend, so a budget is a good reference to use. Keep in mind all the extra expenses that go along with paying rent like utilities, transportation, and insurance.
It’s also a good idea to save some money every month to cover those unexpected emergencies. Even if it's as little as $20 a month, every little bit counts.
Having a credit card does not mean you can buy whatever you want whenever you want. Even though you have the ability to purchase now and pay later, don’t go overboard on the spending and wind up in debt. Credit cards have fees and an annual percentage rate (APR) associated with them. While some credit cards may also offer grace periods for payment, the grace period will eventually end, and you’ll have to pay for your purchases.
When choosing to get a credit card (including store and gas credit cards), pay attention to the fees and APR accompanying the card. Also, be wary of free giveaways or discounts you may get due to signing up for a card. Even though you may save 10% for signing up for a card, you may have annual fees associated with the card that you may have to pay even if you only use the card that one time for the 10% discount.
Your credit is something that will stay with you throughout your life, so be sure to use it wisely. Build it, maintain it, and safeguard it through smart, sound financial choices. Spend only the money you earn each month on the expenses you need.
After getting a clearer idea of what kind of community you want to live in, the next step is to figure out how much you can spend on housing. Consider all monthly expenses and what your income is. The price for housing in Gainesville varies from the mid- $300’s to $900 and above, so there will be housing in your price range if you look carefully enough. Please do not live in a place simply because you can afford it. Make sure it feels right to you before signing a lease.
Visit the UF Student Financial Aid and Scholarships website to utilize the online Financial Literacy resources.