Welcome to CBU's Financial Fitness Program! This program is designed to help you become financially aware and responsible while you are in college, as well as prepare you to be financially prepared for life after college. This page will be updated regularly to include the most relevant content to provide you with all the resources you need. We want to help you whip your finances into shape and keep them healthy! Be sure to check this page often!
For an easy reminder, and a place to get information on a regular basis, follow us on Instagram: @cbufinancialfitness
Government benefits and assistance are available for many students and low-income families. You can use this as a guide on where and how to access these benefits and a road map on the processes. Please use any of the links and resources below to see what you may qualify for that can help ease financial burdens and enable you to access the basic necessities that you need! Many students may not even realize that they are eligible for government assistance, so be sure to explore all of your options.
Benefits.gov is a great starting point. This website helps you search for benefits at both the state and federal levels, as well as check for local organizations that may be able to assist you as well. This should be your first stop in accessing benefits.
CA Employment Development Department - If you or a family member were recently laid off or had hours reduced, be sure to visit the the state's unemployment portal and file a claim. This website is for CA residents only, so if you reside outside of California make sure you find your state's website to file a claim. Many students and parents don't realize that they may be entitled to unemployment pay, even if their hours were only reduced. If you are disabled and unable to work, this website is also where you will file a claim to receive disability payments.
Cal Fresh is California's food stamp and food assistance program. This is where you would fill out the application to see if you qualify! This application is a little lengthy, so give yourself enough time to be thorough. The application is worth it, as you may receive additional funds to help buy food and groceries!
Need help creating a budget to help you stay financially responsible while you are in school? Click here to learn how to keep track of your income and expenses, save for your goals, and adjust your budget as your life changes.
Seasonal Budgeting: Different life events and seasons call for different forms of budgeting. This guide will help you navigate budgeting through the holidays, back to school, and different kinds of travel!
Money Saving Tips
There are several websites, articles, and videos out there to help you develop good money saving habits. Here is an updated list to help you discover new tricks and ideas:
61 Best Student Discounts for 2020: This page provides a range of discounts that a student can get, on everything from food, to electronics, to fitness and more.
Dorm Room Essentials Under $30: Whether you are moving into a dorm room for your first year at college or you are moving into an apartment for your last year, you will need to make some purchases. The University Network created this list that will help you find the cheapest, but efficient and necessary, essentials for your new space!
Ways to Save on Clothes: All students will need to go clothes shopping at some point during the year, and these tips from iGrad will help you get the most for your money.
Getting Out Of Debt: Many students find themselves facing debt not only after school but during as well. Both student loans and credit card debt can seem insurmountable, so it is important to know your rights as a consumer as well as how to get out of debt.
Money Management Tips: Here is a simple but useful collection of money management tips that can really help you succeed financially.
College on a Budget: Use this resource for a collection of strategies and programs that can help you save money on healthcare, housing, utilities, and more!
Money Saving App: This app will help you save daily for whatever your goal is, whether that is concert tickets, a rainy day fund, a vacation, paying off credit cards, or whatever you have as a goal.
We all come to a point in our lives where we need to make a big purchase or set up a payment plan for something. Whether it is a new car, an apartment, student loans, or something similar, these purchases make you wonder how it will affect your income/expenses. Here are some income and expense calculators that can help you understand your finances a bit better, as well as help you solidify your budget:
Student Loan Affordability Calculator: This calculator will help you to determine if your current or future career can support your student loan debt. It will help you become more aware of how much you have borrowed and help you decide how much you should borrow in the future.
Emergency Fund Calculator: Unexpected expenses can come every so often and you'll want to be prepared. Whether it is a car or home repair, sudden job loss, medical expenses, or something similar, this calculator can determine how much you should be saving for emergencies.
It's that time of year (again)! Head on over to https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa to complete next year's FAFSA. Yes, it may seem crazy early, but the sooner you fill it out, the better. You want to make sure you meet all deadlines, and are informed early on if you need to submit any documents. You can accomplish this by completing the FAFSA early. Happy filing!