Students Learn How to Survive on a Budget
By Ashlynn Worley
Surviving on a college student budget is not always easy.
Many students do not have the opportunity or necessary resources to learn how to budget their money.
That is why the QUEST Center hosted a Budget 101 event to provide students with an opportunity to learn about finances from a professional.
The event coordinator and graduate assistant, Alyssa Vitale, said budgeting is essential not only during school, but budgeting after graduation is just as important.
“It’s kind of hard adjusting to having more bills and responsibly so we wanted to give students the skills they may need for their future,” Vitale said.
Vitale said she feels the university does not offer many classes that focus on budgeting and finance so she enrolled in a personal finance class her senior year.
However, she knows many students do not have the chance to take extra classes outside their core curriculum requirements.
The budgeting event gave students a chance to learn more about saving money without enrolling in a class.
Out of the 12 students who R.S.V.P’d for the event, seven showed up.
Some of the students in attendance were there to earn extra credit for Professor Kuhnke’s business class.
Morgan Heckman is a senior at QU who said she never attended a budgeting event before and wanted to learn how to conserve her money.
“Well I’m kind of broke, I am a college student and I live by myself now, so I have to see what I spend throughout the week,” Heckman said.
The guest speaker for the event was Trevor Beck.
Beck is a graduate from Western Illinois University who never majored in business or finance but has worked as a loan officer with Town and Country Bank in Quincy for about 12 years.
It was a fairly informal event which allowed students to ask questions while Beck was speaking.
He started with the basics of budgeting, explaining how you always want to have more money coming in versus how much is going out.
Beck said to always pay your most basic bills first like rent, utilities, car insurance, and groceries and pay them on time to avoid racking up late fees and bad credit.
As a loan lender, Beck talked a lot about credit scores.
He said the worst thing you can do for your credit score is getting a credit card because most people max it out.
Beck told students to think of your credit score equivalent to your GPA.
They both require hard work and determination to get in good standings but can easily drop.
Another topic Beck talked about was student loans.
His advice was to keep in frequent contact with your loan provider so you know how much money you will need to budget in order to meet the monthly payments.
Faith Mountain was another senior who attended the event.
She said now that she is living on her own she needs to learn how to manage her time and money better.
“I think I will probably be more conscious about how I spend my money. My mom always preaches to me I need to spend money wisely so I think this [event] will definitely be an asset to me in the future, especially when I get a higher paying job and think that I have all the money in the world and I don’t,” Mountain said.
At the end of the day, your money is still your money and how you choose to spend or save, it will affect you down the road.