College Finance 101


Jaylon Brooks

For many, college can be a very rough and stressful time, full of obstacles. Exams, a seemingly endless number of assignments and the constant pressure to succeed can take their toll on a person.

Financial stability shouldn’t have to be one of these worries. Learning to manage money now is essential to succeeding post-graduation.

Many college students don’t use this time to prepare for the financial stresses of adulthood, simply because they don’t know how.

“At 21, I don’t really know what it means to have to save up for a mortgage,” said Lilyana Kovacheva, senior marketing major.

“I’m too scatterbrained to budget, so I just take away the opportunity to spend the majority of my money by putting it into savings,” said Victoria Johnson, sophomore marketing major.

“How do I manage my money? I just try not to spend more than 200 a month,” said Charlotte Tucker, undeclared freshman.

“A lot of people think that they can spend as much as they want and save the rest, but it has to be the other way around,” said Dr. Isarin Durongkadej, GC associate professor of finance.

Durongkadej advises that students should immediately put at least 10-15% of their earnings into savings before spending the rest.

“Students shouldn’t spend more than they earn or receive every month,” said Leng Ling, GC professor of finance.
It’s easy for students to indulge in random expenses, like grabbing fast food or buying clothes from a local boutique, but GC finance professors agree that restraint is essential.

“You should either try to increase your income or decrease your expenses so you can have a residual that’ll grow into a larger amount over time, because you have to think about your retirement in the future,” said Durongkadej.

Durongkadej also recommends investing some of your money into the stock market to grow your wealth over time. He suggests using beginner friendly apps like “Robinhood” to watch savings grow with ease.

“Probably by the end of every month you’ll want to write down the expected expenses for the following month and sum them up to see what the total number looks like,” said Ling.

“Then you’ll know how much you’ll have to save and how much extra you may have for other activities, like unexpected social events.”

While it may sound excessive, keeping a list of all your expenses for the month can help you to create a budget and stick to it.

Keeping good habits early in life can really help you later, as learning how to be smart with money now will lead to future success.

“You can get advice your entire life from adults, but until you go through it you don’t understand financial value. That’s a big part of being an adult, just understanding what money means,” said Kovacheva.