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Banking and Personal Finance for UC Berkeley Students

Although the semester has just started, many parents and supporters soon may receive urgent texts or calls for more money. Maybe students are spending too much on late-night pizza runs or opening new credit cards with payments due.

Whatever their overspending issues might be, here are some personal finance tips to share with your students, courtesy of Bank of the West, the official bank of UC Berkeley:

  1. Establish a budget. Students need to understand their expenses and income in order to manage their money.
  2. Set spending guidelines, such as distinguishing “needs” from “wants.”
  3. Select a local bank. Once they arrive on campus or begin the term, students can have the convenience and ease of managing their money locally. If they choose Bank of the West, it offers 16 ATMs on or around campus and on-campus staff who are there to help. Bank of the West offers accounts specifically for Berkeley students with no monthly service charges, and other advantages.
  4. Open a savings account. Ask your students to put a little money into savings each month, even if it’s only 10 dollars, to help establish good financial habits.

Guide your students to Bears for Financial Success, an independent financial wellness program that is part of Berkeley’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Students can connect with Bears for Financial Success on campus or online through Facebook.

Five Things Students Can Do with Their Cal 1 Card

In addition to being a student’s UC Berkeley photo ID, the Cal 1 Card serves as a student’s passport to many services on and around campus. Here are just five of the many uses for the Cal 1 Card:

  1. Meal plan points. Students with meal plans can use their Cal 1 Cards to access points at Cal Dining locations. Students can also use their separate Cal 1 Card debit account at all 15 Cal Dining locations. The debit account is free; parents can add value to the account online anytime by going to and selecting the “Deposit money into someone else’s debit account” option.
  2. Copy machines or printers. At university libraries and other computing centers, students can use their Cal 1 Card debit funds to pay for printing, copying and other services.
  3. Visit local restaurants, get concert tickets or buy Cal gear. Students can also use their Cal 1 Card debit funds to pay for goods and services at a number of off-campus restaurants and at other venues that include Cal Performances, the Cal Student Store and University Health Services.
  4. Do laundry. Students can use their Cal 1 Card debit funds to do laundry in the residence halls. They can see available machines by logging into Laundry Web Online and be notified by email or text when a machine is available and when their laundry is complete.
  5. Ride local transit. The Cal 1 Card allows students access to UC Berkeley’s Bear Transit transportation system, which provides daytime service all around campus. The separate EasyPass Clipper card allows students unlimited ridership privileges on AC Transit bus lines, and they can also load cash value to pay for BART (subway) and other transit passes in the Bay Area.

For more about the Cal 1 Card, visit:

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