Seventy percent of working adults live paycheck to paycheck, but there's a way to stop that cycle, if we instill strong personal finance skills in our kids early on.
Orlando, Fla. (PRWEB) August 22, 2007
September is a time for fresh starts, especially for students. New classes…new clothes…new schedules. And while school may already be back in session for some, it's not too late for a last minute cram session in Personal Finances 101.
According to the most recent report by Sallie Mae, 30% of college students will graduate with $10,000 or more in credit card debt, and 50% will graduate with $5,000 or more in credit card debt. For most of these students, these figures are on top of sometimes overwhelming amounts of student loan debt.
YOUNG MONEY Radio, a new weekly show by InCharge Education Foundation and the editors of the popular campus magazine YOUNG MONEY, have released their top five smart money strategies for students to insure that this school year starts off on the right financial track.
Mike Schiano, personal finance expert and host of the new radio show, offers an overview of this week's show, which can be heard at http://www.youngmoney.com/radio.
"When it comes to personal finance and college students, I like to start with the basics," says Schiano, who also hosts The Money Minute with Mike, heard on radio stations nationwide every weekday. "Seventy percent of working adults live paycheck to paycheck, but there's a way to stop that cycle, if we instill strong personal finance skills in our kids early on."
Below are Schiano's Top Five Smart Money Strategies for Students, as heard on the most recent YOUNG MONEY radio program:
1. Create a Monthly Spending Plan. For a college student, who may not have regular income each month, a spending plan is essential. You should sit down at the beginning of the year and plot out, by month, any income and expenses they have on a regular basis, as well as any income (summer jobs) and expenses (new textbooks in January) that are expected to come down the road. Once a good financial sense of the coming year is established, (knowing additional expenses will always come up), you can make smart decisions to cover the remainder of the year, such as food, rent and daily expenses. For downloadable copies of a spending plan worksheet, visit http://www.inchargeradio.com/resources.aspx.
2. Be Realistic When Setting Financial Goals: There's nothing better than saving and investing your money for the future. But as a college student, it is normal to have more money going out the door, than will be coming in. Realize that it is OK to just break even at college graduation. That's certainly better than leaving school with thousands of extra dollars in credit card debt.
3. Give your Credit Score a Check Up: Most college students have a limited credit history, which means that the financial decisions you make in the next few years will be crucial to building a higher credit score. Back to school is a good time to request a free annual credit report, and to conduct a thorough check to make sure all information is accurate. If you need help navigating your credit score (What does it all mean? How do I improve it?) visit http://www.creditbooster.com to purchase CreditBooster™: Ultimate Guide to a Better Credit Score.
4. Get Organized: Vow to keep all receipts and bills organized and in a safe place, as you may need to start filing income taxes this year. The more organized you can stay throughout the year, the easier it will make filing those returns, when need be. Also, do your best to pay bills (or at least organize them) as soon as they arrive. All too often, people throw bills in a drawer, only to forget about them, and then end up paying late fees (which can in turn negatively affect your credit score).
5. Abide by the 60-day rule when it comes to credit: Many college students get their first credit card, and just don't know how to handle it. If you do have a credit card, be very cautious about making spontaneous purchases--which easily compound over the course of the month--leaving you with a much bigger bill than expected. If you do want to make a purchase, and you don't have the cash up front, be sure to plot it into your spending plan, and confirm that you'll be able to repay that borrowed money over the next 60 days, or two billing cycles. If you don't think you'll be able to repay, you may want to wait on that purchase a bit longer.
To hear this week's YOUNG MONEY Radio episode in full, please visit http://www.youngmoney.com/radio.
YOUNG MONEY Radio officially debuted on July 20th 2007, and has featured interviews with Indy Car Racing's Danica Patrick, Cleveland Indians' Grady Sizemore, LPGA star Natalie Gulbis, best-selling author and personal finance guru Robert Kiyosaki, and other money, personal finance and young adult lifestyle experts and writers and authors.
The goal of the program is to give a voice to the pages of YOUNG MONEY Magazine, a bimonthly publication focused on young adult financial issues and distributed at college campuses nationwide. Each week, YOUNG MONEY Radio streams live on http://www.youngmoney.com. Previous shows are archived so that youngmoney.com's two million annual visitors can listen to the program at their convenience or download them into their favorite MP3 players.
YOUNG MONEY Radio is made possible by InCharge Education Foundation, a national nonprofit personal finance organization, dedicated to financial literacy education for all Americans, and YOUNG MONEY magazine, currently distributed to 750,000 college students across the country. For more information, email radio @ youngmoney.com, or visit http://www.youngmoney.com.
Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, InCharge® Institute of America, Inc., is a national nonprofit organization with affiliates specializing in personal finance education and credit counseling. InCharge® Education Foundation, Inc., publishes YOUNG MONEY® magazine and MILITARY MONEY® magazine and offers basic financial management education to clients and the general public. InCharge® Debt Solutions provides professional credit counseling and financial education services to consumers and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA). For additional information, visit http://www.incharge.org.