Loans? Stocks? Bonds? Interest? Whenever I start to read my bank statement/ apply for a loan/ pretty much do anything that would make me financially responsible I just hear: blah, blah, blah blah blah! Jibberish!!
I can’t imagine that I’m alone in that feeling, so I started researching financial management. A quick search on “saving money” revealed the following… Have a garage sale. Rent a room in your house. Cut up your credit cards. In conclusion, I give the advice I found on the internet a solid “Pthhhhh.” Not really getting me anywhere.
UNC and the interwebs do have some options that can help.
CashCourse.org has accurate, easy to understand and college-centric financial management information. Just make yourself a free account using your UNC email address. It covers loans, saving for spring break, studying abroad, jobs, taxes and more. There are even worksheets and tools that you can use to help get your finances in order, meet a savings goal or determine your spending allowance.
The Dean of Students Office provides financial literacy events on campus such as “Ballin’ on a Budget” and “Swiper, No Swiping. Debunking Credit Myths.” You can hop into one of those or request one for your organization.
Mint.com (and many apps like it) offer easy tracking of your finances, the ability to set budget goals, and notify you when things aren’t going to plan. It’s been a lifesaver for me because it automates my budget process and makes it easy to see when I’m missing the mark.
In the meantime, the first step to financial management is setting a budget. That term puts fear into my bones, but really it’s just seeing what’s happening with your money and setting intentions for what you want to have happen with your money. Credit and debit cards make it easy to not even notice the final cost of things we purchase – $2.78 and $278 both are one swipe. But we all need to pay attention to the difference of costs on our bottom line. Some money management experts recommend reverting to cash so that price differences are tangible – you have to physically count out different amounts of cash to pay. You can also set limits more readily – when the cash in your wallet is gone, you’re done spending. More tips and suggestions are available using those resources above.
Financial health is a big part of overall health. Stress about money is one of most consistent stressors of college students. So get that stress and your money under control.