Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Extra Penny in the Piggy Bank

As college students, we have a notorious reputation for being poor and therefore, cheap. The main reason for this stigma is because the incredibly high costs of attending school easily empties our pockets of just about everything that we own. While this cost is something that we are willing to pay in exchange for a stable and well-paying job in the future, there are a number of things that we can do now to be wise with the money that we do have and live a financially stable life. 

1. Be aware of your money. 

The biggest financial struggle that I have maintained since I was a freshman two and a half years ago, is not being lazy with my money. At this point in time we only have ourselves to support and this makes it so easy to carelessly spend our money. If you're anything like me, you'll spend on useless and unnecessary items until before you know it, you're money is gone and you can't even recall where it all went. This terrible habit of being lazy with money will come back and bite me in the rear one day, which is why I suggest that the first step to being a financially responsible adult is to be aware of your money and be cautious with it. This leads to step number 2. 

2. Create a Budget

This is another thing that I have tried and failed to do many times. I understand the importance of a budget but as mentioned above, I get lazy and fail to track my income and expenses. Sticking to a personalized budget, however, will help to create an awareness of money and will help you to be cautious of it. Strategically budgeting and saving your money, will also help you to maximize the money that you have and be wise with it. 

It's obvious that i'm not the budgeting queen, but the advice given in this article on really helped me with creating an effective budget. 

3. Understand the difference between needs and wants

Yet another thing that I have a hard time with, but this tip is vital to being money smart. Because I only provide for myself right now, I have been able to pay for both my needs and most of my wants. But as I get older and progress in society, there are more things that I am financially responsible for. These things come before the cute shirt that I would like to reward myself with or going out to the movies on the weekend. Unfortunately spending our money on our needs isn't quite as much fun as spending on our wants, but it will create a stability that will allow for "fun spending" in the future. 

While college is a fun, exciting time of life, it is also a transitory state and managing money wisely is one of the best ways to become successful in life. As Jack Hurley once said, "Every young man (or woman) should have a hobby. Learning how to handle money is the best one."

For more tips on becoming financially responsible, click here. 

— Allie Jeppson

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