Illustration by Molly Downs/The Skyline View
We have witnessed the recession and the humongous debt that America is in. Seeing that our national debt has left the country in a devastated state, we as knowledgeable students should take this as warning of what could happen to us, and become money-conscious.
Business teacher Christine Roumbanis mentions many ways to manage money,
‘Most young people could benefit from money-saving habits like putting $100 dollars of your paycheck into a savings account.’ For those of you who have no credit card, this would be the right time to start building credit by making small purchases and paying those bills on time, every time.
Being frugal with your money will help you later on in life when you have bigger bills to pay. For example you want to buy a car, skip taking out a loan from the bank, since you didn’t save money when you had the chance. ‘By saving money now, you can pay the down payment on your own, and paying double payments to get out of the debt faster is better.’
Another way to save money is by seeking free money that you will not put you into debt. On campus there are resources such as SparkPoint that provide various workshops and programs such as scholarships, grants, and employment services to name a few. They have financial coaches available to talk about smart money saving habits. They offer their services free of charge so this is something to take advantage of as a student of Skyline College. According to SparkPoint counselor, Melanie Espinueva, Sparkpoint also has partnerships with programs where they match your savings.This program is called Opportunity Funds College Savers Matched Savings Program for instance every dollar you put in your savings they give you two dollars thus giving you a total of three dollars. With a bigger savings like $3000 they will match $2000 so you end up with $5000 in your savings.
Most importantly we want to plan for our future so in the long run we can actually enjoy our money, and have it in case of emergency. According to American Student Assistance, there are currently 37 million people who receive money through loan and about 5.4 million of them have at least one outstanding payment. This is problematic because it shows students lack money-saving skills, and this type of debt can ruin their credit.
People who don’t learn how to save money now probably do not have a sense of security with their money, and they will continue to borrow money throughout their lives. Which basically means if you are a person who wants to travel and enjoy lunches or dinners at restaurants, you can kiss it all goodbye. Why? Because you will become a person who lives paycheck to paycheck, with the economy going at the rate that it is, goods become more expensive and eventually you will get tired of trying to make every dollar stretch.
We are fortunate to be students at Skyline College because it costs a lot less than going straight into a four year college or university right out of high school. There are many people willing to educate us on these topics like our business teachers and the financial aid office offers services like how to fill out your FAFSA forms they are willing to help you with any questions you have about money, because learning and life aren’t just in the classroom.
Take advantage of the opportunities to save money now and enjoy the fruits of your labors later. Your future self will thank you for the discipline and the hard work it took to not touch those savings.