Brian Formisano: Tips for financial literacy as Truckee students return to campus

As colleges in Truckee begin to resume in-person instruction in the Fall, students returning to campus will again tackle the reality of the expenses of college. An average student in Truckee can easily spend more than $50,000 on rent, transportation, and personal expenses throughout their four-year college career — which may be equal to the amount they spend on academic needs like tuition and books. And despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, back-to-school spending by college students in Truckee continued to rise from year to year.

As these students return to campuses and classrooms, here are some key financial tips to help them consider how to succeed financially as well as in the classroom.


As the saying goes, what gets measured gets managed. Committing to tracking income and expenses and keeping within a budget can help them more simply manage and navigate the expenses of college. Here are a few things to keep in mind as students create their budget:

  • Calculate predictable income sources and expenses across a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. This can help students determine what might be coming up and help them plan for the times when they want to potentially splurge on a Truckee experience or bigger purchases.
  • Be clear on needs vs wants. Clothes, entertainment, and hobbies are enjoyable, but they are expenses that students may need to reduce or cut if they have any budget gaps.
  • Relook at the budget often. Whether things get off track or there’s more left over in the budget than anticipated, regularly consulting the budget can help to know when to adjust things and continue toward meeting goals.


Having access to credit in Truckee can be an important part of a student’s financial life, and building good credit now is an investment in the not-so-distant future. Positive credit can help secure financing for large purchases, lower interest rates, and achieve greater borrowing power. Establishing credit in Truckee and knowing your credit score can not only benefit them in the short term, but also be good for long-term financial health as well.

Students have a lot of elements to navigate during their educational journeys. As they juggle majors, jobs, social circles and many other activities, it can be easy for financial literacy and health to get lost in the shuffle. However, by maintaining a simple and consistent approach to finances, Truckee students can further set themselves up for success both in and after their college careers. CollegeSTEPS® has guidance to build personal finance skills so students can manage their money with confidence in college and life. The site has tailorable content specifically for students to help them learn how to pay for school, manage their money, build credit, and more. Head to for more information.

Brian Formisano is the Wells Fargo Region Bank President for Truckee

Brian Formisano

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