Financial Literacy Tools

Manage your money more effectively and take control of your financial well-being.

What Is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. It is the foundation of your relationship with money, and it’s a lifelong journey of learning.

Choosing how to pay for your education and invest in your future is often one of the biggest financial decisions you can make. From saving personal funds, to applying for scholarships and borrowing student loans, these decisions will impact you beyond graduation. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be.

For more information, download the Financial Literacy Guidance From Federal Student Aid for help navigating the financial aid process for your education.

Defaulting on Student Loans Has Serious Consequences

Understand the consequences of becoming delinquent or defaulting on your student loan and the steps you can take to avoid it.

Learn More About Default and Delinquency

Preparing for Student Loan Repayment

COVID-19 emergency relief for federal student loans was extended. The expiration date has not yet been determined by the U.S. Department of Education; borrowers will be notified before payments resume. Learn more about preparing to resume your student loan payments.

Budgeting for Student Loans

The best way to prepare for federal student loan payments is to understand how much you can afford based on your current financial situation, and determine your repayment plan. The first thing you need to do is to understand your budget.

Important: You have a maximum lifetime financial aid eligibility. Visit the Department of Education’s website,, for a centralized view of your federal student aid loans and grants used and remaining.

  • Calculate Your Income

    Calculate Your Income

    Calculate your monthly income, after taxes. This should include all sources of income, such as full- and part-time jobs, freelance work or consulting, and any other income sources.

  • Calculate Your Expenses

    Calculate Your Expenses

    Calculate your monthly expenses (not including student loans) and separate them into categories of “needs” vs “wants.” Examples of these can include:

    • Rent or mortgage
    • Groceries
    • Utilities (electricity, cell phone, etc.)
    • Transportation (auto loan payments, auto insurance, gas, etc.)
    • Credit card statements or other debt obligations
    • Dining out, travel, and entertainment 
  • Determine Your Essential Expenses

    Determine Your Essential Expenses

    Designate which expenses are the most important. Calculate your monthly essential expenses by adding up all of the “needs” category. 

  • Determine Your Discretionary Income

    Determine Your Discretionary Income

    Deduct your monthly essential expenses from your monthly total income; the remainder is your discretionary income. Use this information to decide how much you can realistically afford to pay each month and which repayment plan (standard, graduated, income based, etc.) best fits your current situation.

    Learn more about federal student loan repayment plans.

  • Reevaluate Your Budget

    Reevaluate Your Budget

    Finally, reevaluate your budget as your financial situation changes. A budget should be flexible and adapt as your lifestyle, income, and expenses change.

Setting Financial and Savings Goals

It helps to have a plan for your money. Do you want to work toward a short-term goal, like a down payment for a car? What about a long-term goal, like investing for retirement or paying off your student loans early? Don’t forget to pay yourself first, and commit to putting an amount of your income toward savings, investments, or debt payoff. 

Watch and Learn: Personal Finances

If you’ve ever had questions about taxes, education benefits, credit scores, or loans, learn more through Purdue Global’s Financial Aid TV.

Financial Literacy Resources

Read more on becoming financially literate and how to responsibly manage your money.

Budgeting and Financial Literacy for College Students

Discover tips and tools to help you pay for your education—with some tricks for saving along the way.

Read More
Budgeting Apps and Personal Finance Tools You Need to Know

The list of personal finance tools is never ending. This guide narrows them down for you to help you stick to a budget and grow your savings. 

Read More

Your Path To Success Begins Here

Connect with an Advisor to explore program requirements, curriculum, credit for prior learning process, and financial aid options.