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Financial Literacy Cougar Money Matters


When considering income, include money you earn from work, gifts, scholarships, investment income, and other resources that you consider to be applicable. Keep in mind that not all of your income will come as a regular rate; if you receive money in bulk such as a $1,000 scholarship, when planning your budget divide it evenly over the number of months you expect to use that money.


Although seeing the money come in looks great at first, loans eventually need to be repaid. For the sake of creating your spending plan (budget), consider your loan as an immediate income with a mid- or long-term repayment goal and future fixed or flexible expense. This will help you plan out and disburse your money over a longer period of time.


If you feel you need to have a job while you’re in school in order to sustain a positive balance, you will first need to determine how many hours you can work according to uphold your academic achievement. As a student, you need to make sure you are succeeding in your classes, which may result in less work hours per week. Another option would be to be enrolled part-time (less than 12 credits), but before making this decision you should look at where that will put you in your graduation timeline. Consider talking to your academic advisor and/or schedule an appointment with a financial advisor.

If you currently don’t have income but you plan to in the near future or through financial aid, use this information to prepare for your future to stay ahead.


Saving your money means allocating it to reach and attain your goals. Set aside your money for immediate-term goals and emergencies as well as short-, mid- and long-term goals in terms of time.

You will need to distinguish between your long-term and immediate goals and expenses so that you can better prioritize where you are spending your money. Before making a final decision, do the math to calculate the efficiency of your new spending plan and adjust if needed. This will also give you an idea of how much you need to save on a regular basis. You may need to look back at your expenses to determine what you can cut in order to save.

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions partnered with KCTS9 in constructing helpful videos that walk through key financial strategies, including How Much is Enough for Retirement?.