Spending Money

  • The Office of Financial Aid estimates that students should each have $2820 (roughly $85 per week) in spending money in order to be prepared to attend student activities that require tickets or other costs, purchase books, snacks, and other incidentals. Student finances and use of cash, check, debit or credit card(s) are not monitored by BUILD staff.
  • Students in the BUILD program are encouraged not​ ​to give, lend, take, or borrow money to/from any other student. This expectation helps students to practice budgeting skills and avoid exploitation.
  • Students are encouraged to use their meal plan before purchasing any other food for meals, outside of their Independent Living assignments. 
    • Students' flex dollars are for a quick snack in Royal Grounds, a meal at the 3900 Grill, or an extra trip to the dining center. Depending on the plan, you'll have a certain amount of flex for each term—Fall, January, and Spring. 
    • Any flex money students have on their account during a semester should be used for snacks rather than meals, to prevent students from paying twice (paying by not using a meal on their pre-paid meal plan and then also paying for another meal using Flex). Flex money should only be used by the students for themselves and needs to be used in full by the end of the semester. Unspent Flex money is not carried over into the next semester.
  • BUILD staff do not monitor credit card activity. We suggest not keeping a credit card on file with the AppleID/App Store. 
  • Though students make their own decisions, mentors and staff provide ongoing coaching and reminders regarding spending habits. Students also learn basic money management and budgeting skills as part of their independent living courses.

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