Adulthood 101: Budget and manage money more wisely

Samantha Pietra

Budgeting is an issue that college students deal with daily — facing the decision between saving their money and going out with their newfound friends.

College is a learning experience, both academic and practical. Students learn time management and ways to make their dollars count.

“Generally speaking, those who view college as the first four years of true adulthood do much better than those who view college as an opportunity to extend their adolescence for four years prior to entering the ‘real world,’” said David Dumpe, Kent State professor of finance.

For freshman college students, the first year is usually their first time away from family. Because of that, students should be more aware of their funds and try to save while still enjoying the college experience.

“Give yourself a limit as to how much you can spend each month. Any leftover money can rollover to the next month,” Lianne Dunaway, Kent State senior, said. “Use your meal plan as much as you can. Spending money on fast food can really add up, so eat on campus as much as possible.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the college life and forget the amount of funds available. However, Dumpe said it is important for students to maintain their accounts and manage their money wisely.

“Live within a budget. Know how much you will have. Plan to not spend more than that. Small items add up. A $1.80 beverage every weekday amounts to $135.00 over the course of the semester,” Dumpe said.

Students almost always have something going on in their social lives, but it is heavily advised to use the meal plan as much as possible to save money.

“I used my meal plan for everything; I bought myself dinner and groceries with it,” said Kaitlyn Hartburg, Kent State sophomore.

Hartburg said the main thing she learned during her freshman year was to save change.

“You’d be surprised how much money you end up with,” Hartburg said.

Leslie Schurman, Kent State junior, said, “Watch the shopping. That bookstore can be tempting, but also expensive.”

Dumpe advised students to track their expenses on top of establishing a budget. If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s hard to control expenditures.

In The Girl’s Guide to Absolutely Everything, Melissa Kirsch recommended selling some unnecessary possessions to make a couple extra dollars.

“When I don’t want clothes anymore I sell them on eBay,” Dunaway said. “Some stores won’t buy back a lot of clothes; people on eBay will buy anything that’s in good condition. I’ve gotten over $100 for ten shirts before.”

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Samantha Pietra at [email protected].