The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Art of Lending & $pending

When approaching college, students reach adulthood and, for the first time, need to learn how to manage their money more efficiently and wisely. Not only are college students entering a new world with new faces, new rules, and more responsibilities, but they have to come up with their own techniques and ways to prioritize their financial responsibilities.

There are many ways students can go about managing their money. One way is to make a budget and stick to it. Knowing your monthly income, as well as you definite expenses every month, make this tactic easy.

Biology student Daniel Sayo, 21, said he manages his money with a budget. Every month, Sayo makes sure to put money away for his phone bill, car insurance, food and $120 for gas to get to school.

“I break everything down at the beginning of the month into categories,” Sayo said. “There are the definite expenses and the unnecessary expenses. I make sure I have enough money for the definite and then see if I could afford anything else, and sometimes I just save the left over.”

Sayo also started a 401-K through his job as a chemist, which is what describes as a “contribution plan offered by a corporation to its employees, which allows employees to set aside tax deferred income for retirement purposes, and in some cases employers will match their contribution dollar-for-dollar.”

“Sometimes it is hard for me to budget my money because I only get paid two times a month; however, I am lucky because for my age I make a good living,” Sayo said.

Opening a credit card with a small limit can also help students. However, it could also hurt them. Credit cards could be dangerous for those who have a problem with purchasing merchandise on an impulse, and could also ruin a young adult’s credit line, causing them to have a hard time getting loans for a house or a car when they graduate. But it does give students freedom and flexibility.

The University of Iowa’s office of financial aid described credit cards as “trap[s] for the unwary. Credit card offers made to college students are inviting, but should be carefully scrutinized.”

Students should shop around for the lowest interest rates and not sign up for credit cards that have an annual fee.
Some students like Shaheed Smith, a junior communications major, make sure they do not spend their money leisurely on things like shopping and partying.

“I do not go on shopping sprees, and I am a home body, and I don’t have a girlfriend so that saves me money,” he said.

Other than attending St. John’s University, Smith is an intern for Def Jam Records and works part time at Nike Town.

Smith also makes sure that he finds the best prices and shops around before buying anything.

Living at home throughout your college years also saves students a lot of money. Priscilla Herrera, a senior adolescent education major, lives at home and bartends on the weekend for fast cash. Herrera, 21, budgets her money by putting a portion in her bank every week to pay her bills and prioritizing the rest. However, she feels that it is difficult to manage her money even though she lives at home.

“Managing money is hard but you have to get your priorities straight and pay off what is important first,” Herrera said. “I am lucky that I still live at home and do not have to pay rent and other expenses so it makes things a little easier for me.”

For some students, saving and budgeting money is difficult.

Some disregard the future and how important it is to have a credit line, a check book, and an emergency stash. There are so many ways to learn more tricks to live a more balanced life such as Web sites, books, talking to older siblings and parents, or even a financial adviser.

In a world where the economy is ever-changing, college co-eds need to pick up on these tips before experiencing financial woes.

“Sometimes, you just gotta put the needs before the wants,” Smith said.

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