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Your Money

life_yourmoney_thmbLearning how to manage money is one of the biggest challenges young people face when they first live independently. It seems like there’s never enough money to go around. One of the first steps in managing your money is setting a monthly budget. Here are some tips for getting started.

Developing a Budget

  1. Write a list of the bills you need to pay each month and the average amount of each.
  2. Write down your monthly income after taxes.
  3. Prioritize your bills and list their due dates. Hint: rent/mortgage should always come first!
  4. Determine where you can cut or combine costs. Examples: use a landline during the day and use the cell phone only when the rates are free; purchase generic brands; buy used textbooks.
  5. Figure out other ways to boost your income, such as applying for a work-study position at your college or for scholarships.

Here are several resources that can help with tuition and other expenses.

Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA)

Here, you’ll find information about how to apply for financial aid.


Information on a number of available scholarships here.

Education and Training Voucher program

The Education and Training Vouchers Program (ETV) assists eligible foster care and adopted youth with post-secondary education and training expenses. It is designed to help youth aging out of foster care with the education, training and services needed for employment. Apply here.

Virginia Tuition Grant Program

The Tuition Grant Program provides tuition and fees at any Virginia Community College for high school graduates or general education development (GED) completers in foster care, in the custody of a social services agency or considered a special needs adoption.

For Practitioners

America’s Promise Alliance has developed a financial responsibility curriculum for young people learning to live independently. Access it here.

A major initiative of The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education
Virginia's Community Colleges
Funded in part by the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation