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Financial Literacy: How to Improve Your Life One Dollar at a Time

Nicci+Denny+teaches+finance+to+Allen+Community+College+students.+Denny+stressed+the+importance+of+financial+planning+early+on.
Nicci Denny teaches finance to Allen Community College students. Denny stressed the importance of financial planning early on.

Nicci Denny teaches finance to Allen Community College students. Denny stressed the importance of financial planning early on.

Persephone Burleson

Persephone Burleson

Nicci Denny teaches finance to Allen Community College students. Denny stressed the importance of financial planning early on.

Persephone Burleson, News Editor

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If college students start running out of money, an Allen Community College instructor said, they can likely trace the problem back to their own spending and saving habits.

Those poor habits can weigh heavily. According to academia.edu, 71 percent of college students report that financial difficulties have increased their stress levels. In a time of change and growth, students do not need one more thing to worry about.

Whether it is a small or large amount [the best way to start saving money is to] commit to saving it and get in the habit.”

— Nicci Denny

Nicci Denny, who teaches personal finance and other business courses, said most students rely on a mental budget, leading to overspending and not being able to save money. There are ways to change that habit and hacks one can use to start saving money.

“Whether it is a small or large amount [the best way to start saving money is to] commit to saving it and get in the habit,” Denny said.

Work the Dollars

The best thing to start the process of budgeting is recognizing where the money is going. In her Personal Finance class, Denny has her students record at least two days a week in their “spending diaries.” They then reflect on their findings and become aware of bad money-sucking habits.

“When I first left college and I started renting and started a family, I realized I was having the dollars work me instead of working the dollars,” Denny said. “I would go through these cycles where I felt like it just wasn’t working. I didn’t like that feeling of anxiety, so I decided to change it.”

Resources are available for students who wish to look into getting the most out of their dollar. Allen has a research database where students are able to find many articles on personal finance. Access is easy from the library computers.
Overall, earning money is easy but saving money is harder. The best way to prevent a financial headache is to pay attention before a penny is spent.

Following are some tips to help curtail spending and add to the bank.

Persephone Burleson
Right outside of the Allen library, this bulletin board is chock-full of opportunities for students to make and save money. Here, Austin Hendrix, Colony freshman, checks out the offers.

Budget Hacks On campus.

As a student, a great way to start saving money is to check out the campus bulletin board. There are offers ranging from movies, pizza, or Blizzard night to job offers. There is also information about clubs to participate in, an alternative to paid entertainment.

Check the board weekly to learn about new events, clubs, and offers that can save a few bucks.

Newspaper. Not everything bought has to be expensive. Check the local newspaper, The Iola Register, for coupons that can help cut costs at the store. In general, it is cheaper and healthier to eat at home than it is to eat out.

Online. Phone apps, websites, add-ons… there are oodles of online ways to cheapen up a bill. Simple switches from an unused cable-based television provider to a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu can provide some relief for the wallet. Using Amazon, E-Bay, and Wal-Mart.com to compare and contrast prices is also a smart way to shop for everyday things.

Honey is a web browser add-on that shows promo codes for websites. All of these little things will add up to a sum of money that can be used on things that matter more.

 

 

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Financial Literacy: How to Improve Your Life One Dollar at a Time