By Felicia Taraczkozy
Earlier this semester, approximately 75 Union freshmen participated in a seminar aimed at improving college students financial literacy.
“I wish someone had told me some of these things when I was a freshman,” said Micah Roeder, senior business administration major.
In partnership with Leader’s Credit Union and Chartis AIG, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) hosted the event.
The group is committed to educating college students on tips for financial success that will assist them in becoming financially stable throughout their years in college.
“Many students still don’t know basic skills such as how to write a check and spend way more money than they actually have, landing in debt and struggling for years,” said Jamison Ball, senior business major and SIFE president.
The program, led by SIFE students, gave freshmen four basic steps to financial success. In one session, SIFE facilitators began with the first step — establish specific, realistic goals that can be easily measured.
The program encouraged students to determine the amount of money they need and their timeline for saving that money.
The program’s second step to financial success is to assess what the student’s overall financial picture looks like.
At this point students are advised to take stock. This means taking a snapshot of their net worth, or what is owned minus what is owed. The program advises students that if they stay consistent with saving, their net worth should gradually increase.
The third step SIFE encouraged the students to do is to create a spending and savings plan. Students who learn to create and stick to a reasonable budget are more likely to be financially successful. Saving in any way possible by substituting off-brand items in grocery shopping, car pooling to activities off campus or borrowing movies from friends instead of renting them can save a lot of money.
SIFE suggested the fourth and final step to financial stability is learning to live within your means, or to spend less than you make. If you need to increase your income, getting a part-time job or working a few extra hours at your current job can alleviate some of the financial stress surrounding college students.
“By providing (students) with information they had no prior access to, SIFE has given students a new opportunity to take control of their financial destiny and make sure they are on the right track entering and leaving college,” said James Barbee, sophomore marketing major and SIFE representative for this initiative.
SIFE is planning a seminar this spring for seniors, giving them an additional six steps to financial success.