Story by Madi Zick
Photo by Michelle Rojano
Let’s face it, college is expensive, and life is hard. Books that are used one time the entire semester cost hundreds of dollars. Rent and gas prices are rising quickly and do not seem to be going down anytime soon. Working and going to school full time can be costly. How do college students make it happen?
Craig Dawkins, professor of Economics and Personal Finance at Rose State, said students should track their spending with a debit register and write down all of their spending.
“The first thing you have to do is know where your money is going,” Dawkins said.
Dawkins said by keeping receipts and knowing what is bought, it can help students save money so that they are not overspending. To Dawkins, just looking at an account online to Dawkins is not tracking spending, it is just observing the money leaving the account. Another way to save money is to stop overspending, and only buy products that are needed.
Dawkins recommended all students take a personal finance class. He explained there is more to personal finance classes than just budgeting and balancing a checkbook. It teaches more life skills.
“In order to save money, you have to stop spending on frivolous things, have a budget and know what you need and why you need it,” Dawkins said.
He also explained it is okay to have a budget for splurging to have fun. Just because money is being saved, doing extra things like going out to eat with friends, or watching a movie is not off limits. Dawkins said that it is basically all about control and discipline, as long as those are involved it is easy to stay on track.
Dawkins recommended students save six to nine months of net earnings in an account, available and ready in case of an emergency. One of the big topics Dawkins preaches is before savings can be done, spending has to be under control. If spending keeps occurring, there will be no money to save. In order to follow and have a physical budget and stick with it, Dawkins said to keep it in writing. If it is just a thought, people can change their minds or not remember what was said, but writing it down can help keep them accountable.
Adrianna Schroeder, a freshman at Rose State, is currently enrolled in a personal finance class. In the class, they had to write down a spending log of their expenses over a month.
“It showed me how much money I was spending unnecessarily, and opened my eyes to help me save money for the future,” Schroeder said.
While saving money might not be as fun as buying new shoes or a new purse, the money saved will be worth it.
“Personal finance isn’t the end of things, it’s the beginning of things, and figuring out how to live,” Dawkins said.
15TH STREET NEWS
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