Life-opoly: A Cash Course in Personal Finance

The best part about col­lege? You have more con­trol over your life, but this power comes with major respon­si­bil­ity; espe­cially when it comes to man­ag­ing your finances. On Novem­ber 21, UW-Superior Career Ser­vices hosted Life-opoly, a “cash course” in per­sonal finance designed to teach stu­dents the impor­tance of finan­cial literacy.

The major­ity of young adults who enter their fresh­man year of col­lege will have lim­ited knowl­edge in the world of finance depend­ing on their back­grounds. Whether fru­gal or a big spender, abid­ing by the guide­lines of a rea­son­able bud­get will help immensely. A cou­ple tips to guide your spend­ing habits:

  • Track your spend­ing: Are the daily Star­bucks lattes really a neces­sity? If you buy a latte every day for $3.75, by the end of the year a stu­dent will have spent over $600! Usu­ally, just by track­ing expenses, you’ll start to limit your expenses.
  • Form a plan: The best way to man­age money over the course of a semes­ter is to form a bud­get. List your sources of income such as schol­ar­ships, money from your job and par­ents, loans, as well as expenses like tuition, gro­ceries and books.
  • Pace your­self: If you blow all your money at the begin­ning of the semes­ter you will be suf­fer­ing later. Give your­self a rea­son­able spend­ing limit for each week.
  • Look ahead: It could be spring break with friends or an insur­ance bill, if you know a large expense is com­ing, put money away ahead of time. It is a lot eas­ier to set aside $50 a month than to come up with $500 when the bill is due.

The bud­getary behav­iors you instate now will carry through­out your adult life, so cre­at­ing a finan­cial plan will pay off later in life.

Image cour­tesy of Felic­ity Bosk — The Stinger
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