Learn to Manage Money and Prepare for the Cost of Higher Education

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 "Star Saver"

Learning to save money in your teens and college years is an excellent habit that will train you to be a good money manager for the rest of your life.  Set goals for your money and start saving NOW.  If you have no immediate goals, your goal can be to have a “money cushion” for when that important need for cash occurs.

Guardian Credit Union offers saving accounts specifically designed for students: 

  • CU Succeed® Teen Club
    • A special club for 13-18 year olds. The CU Succeed® savings account was designed to help young adults save their money at an early age. The savings account has great member benefits including an interactive website to teach young adults how to save money, how to make a budget, and why these things and more are so important, even at a young age. 

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.  Whether you use a debit card or paper checks, your checking account can help you manage your budget, including paying your bills on time and balancing your checkbook.  With these good habits, you can start building a good credit reputation NOW.   

When you are 19, you may open a checking account on your own. Younger students may open checking accounts with the co-signature of a parent, and you need to do this together inside a branch office. 

  • Young & Free Checking
    • A checking account designed with the 18-25 year old crowd in mind. This account allows you to learn how to become money smart, save your money, and win free stuff! Connect with your peers at

3. Plan in advance 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 to help you and your parents plan how you will finance a higher education:

College Savings Plans - Guardian Credit Union offers several options to help you fund the cost of a higher education. It’s OK to start small, but start now with a college savings plan that both you and your parents can contribute to:        

  • Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
    • Call the Main Office at 334-244-9999 or 800-239-7366 and speak with an Investment Representative for more information.
  • US Government EE Savings Bonds
    • EE Bonds are reliable, low-risk government-backed savings products that you can use toward financing education and other special events. These are available through Guardian Credit Union and also may be purchased online at   
  • Federal Financial Aid for Higher Education (FAFSA)
    • All college applicants and their parents or guardians should become familiar with the most recent FAFSA guidelines and deadlines which can be found at  Applications for federal student aid may also be available from your high school counselors, public library or college financial aid office.

Off to College? Need a loan?

Guardian Credit Union can easily help you get a loan for college tuition. Apply online!



  • Set a savings goal and keep track of your progress.
  • If you have a job, don’t spend everything you make.
  • Record ALL your transactions daily for your checking and savings accounts, whether they are made with debit or credit cards or paper checks and deposit slips.
  • Know your account details such as overdraft charges, interest rates, withdrawal restrictions, minimum balances, etc.

Need Some Help?

For help determining the best accounts and products for sound and productive money management during your Student Lifestage, please contact us at 334-244-9999 or