Fiscal responsibility starts with initiative

Matthew Ahasay, Opinion Editor

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Wu Tang Clan once said, “Cash rules everything around me” and as any college student who has ever had to scrounge for change to do laundry knows, they were right.

The word budget has negative connotations to it and students can have a difficult time relating to and implementing something that is more often heard in busi- ness and government than in the life of a typical undergraduate student.

What a budget does is spell out exactly where your money is coming from and where it is going to. As a result, it is an eye opening experience to see just how much video games, fast food, or frequenting the bars ac- tually is actually costing you.

If spreadsheet make you queasy, fear not for there is even an app for that. Budgeting doesn’t have to be a huge pro- cess that makes you feel like an accountant, it can be as easy as visiting the app store and down- loading a financial manager such as Mint.

Students are notorious for being broke despite being em- ployed and the government affording the opportunity for many to receive financial aid. While the scenario is widely ac- knowledged, the cause and more importantly the solution is often overlooked or goes unrecog- nized.

While the process of creating and adhering to a budget is not easy, it is much less complicated and time consuming than it may seem at first glance.

These apps will track your spending and breakdown what you bought and relay that infor- mation in form an easy to digest manner of your choosing. You are literally a finger flick away from being in control of your finances.

Without a doubt the largest expense a college student has to deal with is tuition. A tuition that is rising more quickly than inflation can keep up with.

Budgeting is a mandatory life skill that, if done correctly, will only help you. Adhering to a solid budget could mean the dif- ference in paying off your stu- dent loans a year early, buying a larger house, or even taking the vacation of your dreams.

The first roadblock that can stop an aspiring student from taking control of their spend- ing is the very first step. The ever popular statement of, “I wouldn’t even know where to start.” is nothing but an inhibi- tor. Everything you could want to know is just a Google search away. In fact there are a plethora of spreadsheet templates formu- lated specifically for students

College is preparation for life as a contributing member of society. It teaches you how to manage your time, stress and yes even your finances. You can’t keep calling mom for money forever.

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