Winners Announced for Bank of America Student Voices Essay Contest!
By Lauren Bayne Andeson
June 29, 2009
Our second winning essay!
So Much To Do.. So Little Money
By Rashud T. of Hampton University
2.0- 2.99 GPA range
“What’s happenin’ this weekend?” This question is a common one on a Friday at Virginia’s Hampton University campus.
The answer to this question could be one of many things competing for students’ limited supply of money. Having so much available to do, can be challenging and frustrating because students aren’t often able to adjust to life away from the financial care of their parents without some pain.
Students want to shop, eat out, and do extracurricular activities like they were able to do pretty regularly at home. However, because most students don’t have a job until their junior year, whatever lifestyle they were used to living has been abruptly changed.
Setting up and sticking to a budget, along with maintaining a savings regimen are good, concrete steps towards achieving financial well-being. Saving money requires discipline, i.e., utilizing one’s pre-paid campus meal plan more often than going out to eat. Living within the means of a budget, also requires discipline, urges for extra things, which aren’t necessities can be, and probably should be ignored or postponed.
A good habit for students to practice is to look for bargains and to make smart purchases, such as buying used, instead of new textbooks, or replacing candy purchases with fruit purchases.
Many students have money in savings and checking accounts. This is a good way to keep funds for what is needed, and to save money for things that aren’t needed right away. When well-maintained, such accounts help to train students to manage their precious financial resources.
College life is fun, exciting, and educational and meant to be that way. Still, it is equally important for students to think about more than just their studies and the parties. The impact to their lifestyle of throwing their budget out the window at the first sign of a weekend party could be a decision that reverberates loudly for a good part of their college experience.