Students need firm grasp of finances
April 2, 2009
April 15 looms large on the horizon. That singular date should be engrained in every Americans’ minds as the day taxes are due. But for too many people, taxes are simply that spring thing you do, hopefully to get some money back to blow on frivolous activities and/or material goods. The Student Voice wants to encourage the students of UW-River Falls to take an active understanding of finances, especially now in this harsh economic climate.
Even staying on campus, there are several resources that students can utilize to further explore positive financial planning and fiscal responsibility. Schedule time with an economics or accounting professor or talk to the Accounting Society. Both of these resources could help any student better grasp how to manage money and start a plan for the future.
And money management is an essential tool for the future. Right now, the unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, meaning that there are over 24 million jobless Americans. It seems every week there is a new news story about downsizing and layoffs. Savings accounts have become the contingency plan for countless families, providing a rapidly drying well to live off of. Students should start their savings accounts now. The Student Voice realizes that this may be hard to do in the midst of unemployment, tuition fees and rising gas prices, but even a few dollars every week is better than nothing. Rather than visiting the C-Store every day for a snack or bottle of pop, put those few dollars aside and watch them add up.
Beyond creating and adhering to a strict savings plan, students should also be mindful and wary to the deceitfully tempting allure of credit cards. Unfortunately, there is a vein of ignorance running through college students-one that has led to credit card companies preying on students, expecting them to max out the limits before skyrocketing the interest rates to extremes, sometimes upwards of 30 percent. This monetary Venus flytrap catches many students unaware, leaving them crippled by debt upon graduation. Credit cards are not free money, and should be treated with the utmost respect and caution.
Overall, students need to better understand finances in general. Call your bank, ask your parents, Google it! Do whatever it takes to familiarize yourself with your money, and your money options. And don’t forget to do your taxes but remember, there is more to it than your refund.