(June 18, 2001 – Wilmington, DE) – As students head off to college, they not only face the stress of packing everything from their notebooks to their favorite shirt, but also wonder how they will manage money during their years away from home. 


According to the First USA Financial Index, over 645,000 college-bound students are “very” or “somewhat” worried about paying for school and still having enough spending money.  Almost two-thirds said that they would like to use money responsibly, which is sometimes easier said than done.


First USA, the nation’s largest Visa® issuer, wants to help college students learn about the importance of responsible spending and money management.  As part of its educational campaign, First USA has asked “spokesguys” Chris and Luke, the world’s first corporately sponsored college students, to share their insight and help send a positive message to their peers on fiscal responsibility.


Here are their smart and simple ideas that students can use to pay the bills, have some spending cash…and even put a little away for the future:


 Make the most of your midnight snacks – Start saving that change from those late-night pizza deliveries and see how fast your $2 turns into $100 when you deposit it into a savings account. 


Learn to say “no” – Discipline yourself from making frivolous purchases.  It’s easy to get caught up in a spending frenzy when you’re away from home with your friends.  Find a budget that works for you and stick to it.


Give yourself credit – Begin to establish credit by applying for a credit card with a low credit limit and interest rate.  Spend responsibly, within your means, and you will be on your way to building great credit for your future. 


Work it out  – Occupy some of your free time by getting a part-time job on or near campus.  This is a great way to pick up extra cash, meet people and learn new responsibilities.


Invest in your future – Consolidate cash you get for birthdays or holidays and transfer it into an interest-bearing money market account.  It’s never too early to start investing…plus this is a great way to save for Spring Break!


Take flight – Be your own travel agent.  If you are within driving distance from home, check postings at the student union for sharing rides.  If you plan to fly home to visit family and friends, start looking for special fares early by adding your name to airline e-mail distribution lists.  Make the most of your travel by taking advantage of frequent flyer programs.


Phone home – Take note of your calling patterns during your first month at school – this will help you find the most cost-effective long distance plan that works for you.  Also, check out other competitors’ offers every six months.  E-mail is also a great way to keep in touch with your family and friends.


Help yourself to seconds – Save money each semester by purchasing second-hand books.  Also, determine which books you won’t use at the end of each semester and sell them back to the bookstore.


Treat yourself  – Indulge in one small purchase each semester to avoid “bingeing and purging” with your bank account.  This will help you save money and, by rewarding yourself each semester, you will be less tempted to make irrational purchases throughout the year.


Rest assured – Find out if your parents’ homeowners or renters insurance covers you while you’re at school.  If not, pitch in with your other roommates and get one insurance policy to cover your computers, electronics and other valuables.


Dine in – Take advantage of the food plan that you selected by eating at the campus dining halls.  If you do go grocery shopping, make a list before you start pushing that cart through the aisles – this will keep you focused on what you’re buying and will help you avoid impulse purchases.