Create budget and stick to it.
Overspending is a major problem among college students who have little experience in money management. Students often spend themselves into enormous debt. The most important thing I can do to prevent this is to create a good budget and stick to it. If I plan a budget correctly and stick to it, it will guarantee I will have less debt, less stress, and a better financial start after I graduate. When creating this budget, I need to allocate money to pay off interest on any unsubsidized student loans, or if possible, start slowly paying off part of my loans. Accumulated interest can be an overwhelming burden on students taking their first steps into the work force. A budget will be ineffective if I do not follow through after planning it. It is necessary to record all my income and expenditures accurately and not just guess my finances; I need to take an active role in my budget so it will be beneficial to my future. Sticking to a budget is vital because countless money-saving habits are bound to follow. If I understand how much money I have allotted to spend in a month, I will be more likely to choose activities, entertainment, and products that are cheaper. I will be less prone to “living in the moment” or to spending more than I can afford, which is a problem for many college students. It will allow me to recognize whether I can afford to watch a movie at the theater at $10 a ticket or just to rent a DVD instead. Budgets keep expenses low and in turn improve your financial future. I need to plan an effective budget and monitor all expenses. It is an investment of time and money to ensure my future is as bright as possible.
Ryan Sligh, 2012 graduate of Independence High School