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Financial Literacy a Necessity for College Students with Money Questions

Financial Literacy a Necessity for College Students with Money Questions


September 30, 2009

Do you want to learn more about managing money and personal finances? Do you have questions about student loans and mounting debt? If you are a college student or recent graduate than your answer should be an emphatic “Yes!”

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There are no federal bailouts for college students in financial trouble, but one university is offering its students a helping hand to manage their money, and their debts.

“The purpose of a college education is to help students learn how to solve problems,” said Kristy Vienne, “and we see a lot of students who are in need of solutions. The first step is to become financially literate.”

Vienne directs Sam Houston State’s Student Money Management Center, which helps students help themselves.

“We see a lot of students in financial trouble; the majority of students are in debt, but they are also smart, responsible and eager to learn how to better manage their resources,” she said.

Here’s her best financial advice to college students and their parents:

1. Know your Income. “Once the student identifies how much money is coming in every month, budgeting and creating a spending plan will be much easier and faster.”

2. Learn to Budget. “Students need to track their finances and understand their fixed and variable costs.”

3. Compare the Expenses. “This allows students to see exactly how much money they have left over and if changes need to be made to their budget.”

4. Cut the Costs. “Compare the costs of things such as groceries from one store to another and look for sales and coupons.”

5. Save, Save and Save. “If students have a savings account and should any emergency occur, there is no need for a loan or credit card to pay for the expenses.”

6. Educate yourself on Credit. “The more students understand about credit the better deals they can receive.”

7. Be Responsible. “Make sure to pay bills on time to avoid creditors charging high interest. Also know your spending limit so you do not come up short.”

8. Protect yourself Against the Thief. “Dispose of your financial records properly by using a shredder. Be cautious when using your social security number.”

9. Know your Options. “Understanding how loans, credit cards and debit cards work will save students from a heap of trouble, debt and headaches.”

10. Ask Questions. “It is important to talk to your parents or a financial professional about any questions or concerns you may have.”

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