A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to take part in a Wellness Wednesday workshop titled “Financial Literacy 101”. The speaker, Dominica Scibetta, did such an incredible job providing the attendees with important knowledge, that I felt a desire to pass it on to my fellow 49ers.
As students, we have all struggled or are struggling with our finances. Becoming financially fit is important in every aspect of life. For instance, when trying to purchase a car, or rent an apartment, finances play a big role. Money problems are often the main cause of stress in relationships and student loan debt is at an all-time high across the nation. No matter how little or how much money you have, being smart with your money can reduce stress. This is the time to learn a few tips to stay financially fit.
1) Track your income for one month. Any money that you receive, put it on the spreadsheet! If you work in the service industry and collect tips, start tracking the amount of tips you get on a daily basis.
2) Track all of your expenses for the week (Or month). Track it on phone or by downloading a free budgeting app like Mint.com. This gives you a starting point and helps you see where it all goes!
3) Create a budget. Now that you know how you spend your money, create a budget that includes the necessities (leave nothing out) and always try to save something. See the following idea called the 80-10-10.
· 80% of your income is for necessities, such as rent, insurance, phone bill, groceries and any other household expenses.
· 10% of your income will go into a savings account. Having a small savings can be a stress reliever if any unexpected events happen (like a flat tire, or parking ticket)
· 10% of your income can be used towards any charity that you are passionate about. I know this may be difficult for some students but I feel it is something we can all strive for in the future.
Many people don’t realize how much they are actually spending on eating out and buying unnecessary things. After doing my own budget tracking, I realized that I spent more than $200 eating out in just two weeks! This was only eating out at places like Yogurtland, Subway and movie popcorn; no groceries! Since keeping track of my finances, I have set my budget for eating out to $50 and have yet to go over it.
Improving Your Relationship with Money
Talking about finances makes some people really nervous. If you get worried when you think about it, start changing your attitude about your relationship to money. Think positively and take control of your finances. Learning to spend wisely and saving for the future (and emergencies) will help you make big steps towards getting financially fit!
CSULB offers a lifetime financial fitness workshop and information online.
For more information on how to get Financially Fit, check out this FREE resource: https://csulb.financialliteracy101.org/ Code: CSULB-ALL
By Keri Ichikawa