Financial Literacy FAQs

Can my bank charge my account fees?

Yes. Banks are first and foremost businesses. They can charge your account with minimum balance fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees and more.

To avoid these charges, ask your bank if student accounts are available. With a student account, there are more privileges for you, such as a no-fee checking account and student rewards.

What is the best way to start a savings plan?

Start small and simple. If you save $10 every week for about a year, you effortlessly save more than $500!

How can I save on my travel expenses?

To save on travel expenses you can check different airlines or go online to vacation planning websites for student discount prices. Tip: Reviewing the school’s academic calendar weeks before you plan a trip will assure a lower-priced trip.

Can I get a refund on a previously purchased plane ticket if the price decreases after I paid for the ticket?

Yes. Many airlines will refund the difference in price if the fare drops after you purchase a ticket (minus a change fee). You will need to contact the airline to request the refund.

Are there inexpensive ways to travel around the city without taking the bus?

Yes. Rent a ZipCar. For $9 per hour you can have access to a vehicle to help you run your errands around the city. Renting a ZipCar on a need basis will help avoid hefty car payments, insurance, and parking costs.

How can I save money on my cell phone bill?

Many cellular retailers offer discounts for Syracuse University students. Call your service provider to see what discounts you may be eligible for.

How much should I allow in my budget for groceries if I live off campus?

On average students spend $100 to $200 a month for groceries. Plan accordingly and stick to your budget so you don’t compromise your health.

Can I still have a social life without going broke?

Yes. Hanging out with your friends can be affordable. Consider eating dinner in and going out for dessert or purchase movie tickets in advance from the Schine Box Office for a discounted price.

Is there a calculator tool to help compute my estimated monthly loan payments after graduation?

Yes. The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website provides a free student loan calculator, as well as explanations on loan repayment options available to you.

Are there free resources available to budget, compare and track all my financial accounts in one?

Yes. Websites such as and software through your bank can provide you with free online tools to keep your money and your budget on track.