Kay Byington, Student Money Management Center assistant director, said one of the biggest advantages to learning financial literacy is that students can avoid a financial situation that could halt their graduation and learn how to control their money.
“If you don’t have control of your money, you’re just spending what you want, when you want, [and] you don’t really know what you have coming in, what you have going out, you’re never going to get ahead financially,” Byington said.
Students think that once a budget is set, it remains the same forever, she said.
Budgeting doesn’t have to feel restrictive and can be adjusted according to the student’s discipline on spending, Byington said.
“Budgeting is more of a fluid thing,” she said.
The Student Money Management Center can help students on and off campus tackle financial burdens that may prevent them from finishing school. The center assists with understanding grants, scholarships and financial aid.
The center educates students on budgeting, saving and credit awareness, Byington said.
Students can either make an appointment or walk in to speak to an available counselor. Most students ask about financial aid, payment plans, building credit and student refunds.
Psychology senior Brittany Marquez lives on campus at Liv+ apartments with three roommates. She spends around $1,000 a month for rent, food, gas and bills.
Byington said students should plan before they receive any money.
Planning expenses ahead will help students gain more control of their money and leave enough left for emergency expenses, she said.
Aside from rent, most of her spending goes toward food, Marquez said. But she tries to buy groceries and plan her meals to have extra funds in case something unexpected happens.
It’s best for students to save during the summer, she said. Earning money during the school year is tougher because there is more work, and it can be stressful.
Undeclared freshman Kimberly Andrade said she keeps track of everything she buys and monitors how much she spends per week.
Andrade said since she is fortunate enough to live with her family, her budget is around $100 to $200.
“When we have advantages to take, [like staying with family,] take it and save money,” she said.