BOONE, NC — School supplies, rent, groceries, utilities — and pizza. Most students learn a lot about the cost of living while in college.
Bryan Bouboulis, associate professor at Appalachian State University Department of Finance, Banking and Insurancewants to help students manage their money through college and beyond.
“Finance is part of your life. It doesn’t matter what specialty you specialize in or what career interests you,” said Bouboulis, who runs App State. financial literacy initiative — a program offering financial management resources and personal counseling to students.
Bouboulis also teaches personal finance courses for commercial and non-commercial majors, exploring money-related topics that are relevant “from birth to death,” he said. “College funds, credit cards, mortgage eligibility, leasing a car instead of buying, planning for retirement – we’ve got it all covered.”
For college students, Bouboulis offers do’s and don’ts of money management:
- Start with a spending plan.
Build a budget and track spending by category using a spreadsheet, software, or app. Bouboulis recommends using a money management app that links to bank and credit card accounts and provides insight into actual spending versus budgeted amounts.
“A budget lets you tell your money what to do, instead of wondering where it went,” Bouboulis said.
- Establish an emergency fund.
A separate fund earmarked for emergencies — such as car repairs, a new phone battery or other unforeseen expenses — is essential, Bouboulis said. “Having that money aside allows you to avoid having to resort to credit, which can get very expensive,” he said.
For college students, Bouboulis advises a $1,000 emergency fund.
- Start building a credit score.
Most people will need to borrow money at some point, to buy a car or a house, or perhaps pay for higher education. Credit scores affect the ability to get a loan, as well as loan interest rates. Credit scores are also used to determine security deposits for utilities and people qualified to rent housing, in some cases.
Careful use of credit cards can help establish a credit score, Bouboulis said. “Only charge what you can easily repay in a month or two,” he said.
Since credit scores are affected by how long a person has a credit account, Bouboulis advised, “Get one card and stick to it.”
- Pay in cash, if possible.
On average, people spend 17% more with credit or debit cards than with cash, Bouboulis said.
“When we use cash, we think about it more,” Bouboulis said. “Studies show that when you replace money for a purchase, the pain receivers in your brain are triggered when you think about how hard you worked for the money you spend.”
Using a credit or debit card doesn’t produce the same mental connection, Bouboulis said.
Not to do
- Don’t waste money.
“How much do you mindlessly spend on things you don’t need? asked Bouboulis. Unnecessary Uber rides, food delivery fees or gourmet cups of coffee add up, he said.
“If you were spending $ 5 a day for a milk coffee, it would be $ 150 a month. But if you would expect $ 150 a month instead, you could end up with $ 3 million at your retirement”, Bouboulis said.
- Don’t borrow more than you need.
Regardless of the maximum loan amount offered on a student loan, Bouboulis said students should only borrow what they really need.
Financial Advisors in App State’s Student Financial Aid Officeor financial literacy program consultants can help students estimate living costs and expenses to minimize the amount borrowed.
- Don’t sacrifice your academic success for jobs unrelated to your career.
“Think about the end of the game,” Bouboulis said. While a part-time job can help eliminate debt or fund living expenses and fun, balance is key.
“If students have to repeat a year due to overwork, they may extend the time it takes to graduate, resulting in higher overall costs,” Bouboulis said.
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About the Ministry of Finance, Banking and Insurance
The Department of Finance, Banking, and Insurance develops leaders for business, government, and education by offering a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in two specializations: Finance and Banking, and Risk Management and Insurance. Learn more about https://finance.appstate.edu.
About Walker College of Business
Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business provides transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to become ethical, innovative, and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college emphasizes international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurship programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 3,000 undergraduate students in 10 majors and 175 graduate students in three master’s programs, Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the world’s leading accrediting body for business schools. Learn more about https://business.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead meaningful lives as global citizens who understand and take responsibility for creating a future sustainable for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to gain and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and purpose, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system. Appalachia is home to over 20,000 students, has a low student-faculty ratio, and offers over 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.