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On Tuesday April 4, Dr. Rebecca Moryl and the Psychology Department hosted an event entitled, “How to Financially Support Yourself After Graduation.” The event started off with participants answering the poll question, “what financial goals do you have for you future?” Most of the responses included loan debt and being able to afford to live a comfortable and healthy lifestyle.
Students received advice on how they can begin to save their money and pay off debt broken up into four parts: own it, track it, save it, and know it.
“Owning it” is the first aspect of this. It’s about recognizing your financial state and taking steps to improve it rather than hiding or running from it. Overcoming fear, using available resources and making time were the highlighted points with the main takeaway stating, “your financial future is in your hands.”
“Realize this and embrace it,” Moryl said. “If you don’t make time, it will happen without you.”
The next aspect of this plan is “tracking it.” This is about spending less than you make. While that seems obvious, it’s often how people end up in debt in the first place. Moryl shared some online resources that can help track monthly finances such as Mint, BudgetSimple, and Buxfer.
“Saving it” surrounds the idea of “paying your future self first.” Moryl’s biggest advice here was to start as soon as possible and to be consistent. She also emphasized the importance of small choices such as buying lunch versus bringing it to work or school. Bringing meals from home can potentially save someone thousands of dollars annually.
Retirement discussions also occurred. While this may feel far off for students in their early 20’s, it’s important to start saving now as it can make a world of difference later. Waiting even 5-10 more years can cause someone to have to play a massive game of catch up.
“Borrowing money costs money,” Moryl said on borrowing money. “Don’t make your future self pay for your immediate gratification.”
While developing credit is important, it’s even more crucial to not get out of hand. More credit cards equal more opportunity to accrue debt. This is the “knowing it” aspect of this concept.
“Your credit is a financial snapshot of how you run your life,” Moryl said.
She gave tips on how students can begin to pay off their loan debt.
As students approach graduation and more full-time job offers, salary negotiations begin to play a huge role into future financial stability. It’s all about knowing your worth and doing your research beforehand.
Moryl also stressed the lifetime availability of the Career Center for Emmanuel students. There are many pay scale salary surveys online that provide information on what someone of a certain major, age, and level of experience can expect to make.
The components that go into financial freedom are expansive. Start small as any amount saved contributes to the overall end goal. Just as many students have moments of thinking they won’t make it to graduation day for whatever reason, they usually do. Everything is attainable with organization and goal setting.
The full PowerPoint presentation and more financial resources from the event can be found here.
Merisa Boyd ’18 is a Staff Writer for The Hub. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @merisafaith.