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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Students unaware of ‘sloppy payment’ backlash

Saving money can be a challenge for students.

Michael Staten, director of the Take Charge America Institute at the UA, said a major underlying cause of money trouble is because relatively few students have prepared a budget for themselves.

Staten said if a student receives a sum of money in the beginning of the month, it might initially seem like a lot of money until he or she begins to budget.  

It takes practice, he said, and you learn by training yourself.

“”In addition to that, most students are unaware that sloppy payment habits come back to haunt them, especially on credit reports,”” Staten said.

Suppose a student puts a balance on a credit card and he or she does not pay attention to the due date. The consequences are greater than students anticipate, Staten said.

He said there are plenty of opportunities on campus to help educate students on balancing finances.

There are a series of courses, a popular one being family and consumer sciences 302 — Family and Consumer Personal Finance.

That’s always over prescribed, Staten said. There are never enough seats to satisfy the demand for that course he said.

“”Remarkably there seems to be more of a problem with men,”” Staten said. “”They think they know more than they do, it might be consistent with men not wanting to ask for directions.””

Pre-business sophomore Kendell Brandon said that, as a child, she always had a big piggy bank and enjoyed saving change.

“”I like nicer things, so sometimes it’s nice to have the extra spending money to treat yourself to, plus I like having the security,”” she said.

Brandon said she is financially independent for the most part, and she knows that, on a monthly basis, she is responsible for paying for groceries, gas, clothes and extra books.

“”What I like to do is put all my paychecks in the bank, then when it comes to tip money from work, I put that into a jar and use it for spending money,”” Brandon said.

A lot of her friends have difficulty managing their money, she said.

“”I think it is because we are in this transition — there is a big difference living off campus, things are more expensive and a lot of parents are trying to wean their kids off slowly,”” Brandon said.

She said her friend would spend money frivolously and buy Starbucks several times a week, so that by the end of the month there would not be any left.

Some perks, she said, from her savings are her iPod touch and her Mac computer.

“”It’s a rewarding feeling and it teaches you in the long run how to save money and be cautious of your spending,”” Brandon said.

Brandon’s advice to students would be to think about the unnecessary items that you enjoy buying and account for how much of your money goes toward them; people will be surprised, she said.

Kyle Kelly, a senior majoring in Spanish, described his money management as “”absolutely horrible.””

He said any excess money he gets goes to his entertainment fund, which is essentially beer. That takes priority.

He said he lives off campus and, while he does not pay for rent, he does pay for his car payments and other expenses.

“”A few months back I got a smaller paycheck than expected so I sold some personal belongings just to make a car payment,”” Kelly said. In high school, he took one class that involved finances.

“”I’d say it’s more along the line that I understand them (management skills), I just don’t do it,”” Kelly said.

He said he never struggles to pay his bills but doesn’t have any savings.

“”All my friends have the same issues for the same reasons.”” Kelly said. “”I’m just thinking about graduating. If I had more time, I’d be interested in building skills. In time it will fix itself, I hope.””

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