STUDENT

You may still rely on financial help from your parents or other family members, but it’s not too early to start cultivating sound money-management habits.  Many financially sound adults accomplished their goals through careful financial planning that began when they were students. 

How can you start on the path to sound money management? 

1. Become a saver.

Learning to save money in your teens and college years is an excellent habit that will train you be a good money manager for the rest of your life. Set goals for your money and start saving now. HomeTown Bank offers saving accounts to help students save: 

Teen Advantage Savings – Whether you are saving for college or your first car, the interest rate on Teen Advantage can help you reach your goals.

Goal Setter Savings – An automatic savings account that helps you save by drafting from your HomeTown Bank checking account.

When you are 18, you may open a savings account on your own, either online or at the bank.  Younger students may open checking accounts with the co-signature of a parent, and you need to do this together inside the bank.

2. Start a checking account.

A checking account provides a means to learn how to responsibly handle cash, make smart financial decisions and keep track of your spending records. With these good habits, you can establish smart money management practices.

Totally Free Checking – This no-fee checking account makes managing your cash flow simple. You can also earn interest on your balance.

When you are 18, you may open a checking account on your own, either online or at the bank.  Younger students may open checking accounts with the co-signature of a parent, and you need to do this together inside the bank.   

3. Plan for college.

It’s never too early for pre-college students and their families to identify and earmark the financial resources they have available to fund a college education—whether from savings, loans, grants, scholarships or work income.

Here are some sources and tools to help you and your parents plan how you will finance a higher education:

Virginia 529 Plan – A resource for Virginia's tax-advantaged college savings programs

College Savings Calculator – Use this calculator to develop your education savings plan.

All college applicants and their parents should become familiar with the most recent Federal Financial Aid for Higher Education (FAFSA) guidelines and deadlines which can be found here. Applications for federal student aid may also be available from your high school counselors, public library or college financial aid office.