Learn to Manage Your Money

Published on:2011-12-03, Latest Updated on :2015-05-22

The U.S. Monetary System

U.S. currency uses the decimal system. One dollar ($ 1 or $ 1.00) is equal to 100 cents. One cent is expressed as 1¢. Another name for a dollar is a buck. 20 dollars is called 20 bucks.

There are several different U.S. coins. The face of a coin is cast with a famous U.S. person's portrait, the front face is called head, the back face is called tail. They are distinguished as follows:
Penny=1 cent, Nickel=5cents, Dime=10cents, Quarter=25 cents, Half dollars=50 cents, Dollar=100cents

The American notes (called bills) come in the following denominations: $1.00 , $2.00, $5.00 , $10.00, $20.00 , $50.00 , $100.00

Open a Bank Account

One of the first things you should do after arriving at the U.S. school is to open a bank account and deposit most of your cash in the bank. Also, you should call or visit banks nearby to compare the fees charged and check coupons available for opening a bank account on the internet, but also consider whether it is convenient for withdrawing money. For example, whether there are a lot of ATM machines in the local area, whether it is close to your studying or living place. Before opening a bank account, you should also contact the bank to check which documents you need to bring to the bank to open an account (passport, I-20, etc.). A bank account generally includes a checking account (Chinese Translation: 支票账户) and a savings account (Chinese: 储蓄账户). After opening your bank account, the bank will give you a checkbook. Checking accounts have low interest, savings accounts have a slightly higher interest rate. In the mean time you should also promptly register for online banking, making it easier for you to check your spending, so as not to overdraw your checking account, which would result in a penalty. In case you lose your checkbook or bank card, you should immediately inform the bank.


Apply for Social Security number

In the United States, a person who does not have a social security number (SSN)cannot apply for a credit card, nor do many other things. What about how to run a social security number? Only in the United States, you can only apply for SSN. If you are a United States school graduate, and RA and TA working, you must apply for SSN. But students to University or language, is often unable to find posts of RA, TA. SSN in this case how to do? Because the SSN's only requirement is to have a job, you can try to go to supermarkets,school library, restaurants, apartment buildings and so on to find a part-time job……If you have a job, you can apply for SSN.

Apply for Credit Card

The following credit card companies VISA, MASTER, AMERICAN EXPRESS and DISCOVER are often used in the United States. Due to lack of a credit history, it will be very difficult for a college freshman to obtain a credit card. So how do you help yourself to get a credit card quickly?

1. Open a bank account, in the meantime apply for credit cards

To encourage college students to open a bank account, at the beginning of the school year banks often go to universities to provide an account opening and credit card application program. Hence, students can seize this opportunity to obtain the bank's credit card.


  • Citi Dividend for college students: 前6个月买菜加油返点数5% ,之后2%,其它消费返点数1%。另有季度rotating 5% 返点数。
  • Citi Forward for college students:  赠送8500点,吃饭买书消费给5%积分
  • Discover More for college students:  5% rotating 返点数,但是5%返点数类别不怎么吸引人。

2. Apply for a credit card from a department store, which is relatively easier to get

Such credit card has a limited credit line, and can only be used for buying goods in the brand's department store, but because of its low credit limit, and because the department stores also want to encourage customers to buy goods,a store credit card usually has a less rigorous credit check and so is relatively easier to obtain. University students can establish personal credit record through these kinds of credit cards, and use it as a springboard for future other credit applications.


Net First Platinum: 这是包通过的,也没有年费,只需要你有一张debit card。信用额度500美元。

Horizon Gold Card 这是包通过的,也没有年费,但信用额度只有500美元,而且只能在他家网站购物。不过, 你可以每个月去买一两样物品,积累几个月的信用后,可以再申请别家的信用卡。

4. Find a co-signer to apply a credit card

A college freshman can apply a credit card together with a relative or a friend who has a good credit history. After the student's credit history is established, he/she can then apply for credit card through an independent application.

5. Apply for a credit card that charges an annual fee.

Fee-based credit cards, Fee-based credit cards, which require an annual fee, are often relatively easy to get. Some of them are even guaranteed to approval. For example,Open Sky Secured Visa(R) Credit Card : 信用额度 200-3000美元, 但有$50年费。





http://www.creditkarma.com/ 完全免费, soft pull, 不会影响你的信用分的。从TransUnion pull信用分


https://www.quizzle.com/ 每6个月可以查询一次, 有信用分和对应的credit grade, 详细的信用报告

Pay Tax

Students are required to pay income tax each year for any income they receive from the universities and from outside of the school. However, the income tax law for Chinese students' grants, scholarships, gains from the U.S. stocks and interests of bank deposits are completely different from those for American people. Be sure to find professionals who understand the foreign student tax laws to inquire which income is taxable and which can be tax-free. Otherwise, you are likely to receive wrong information. The International Student Center can also provide students with free tax consultation during each year's tax reporting time.


Managing Your Time, Money, and Career: MBA Insights for Undergraduates from UCI, 时间管理、理财和事业规划方面的知识