While many college students spend their money on items such as clothing, food or video games, College freshman Ted Guio — who works three jobs — puts aside almost everything he earns.
Guio tutors children in math and Spanish, and last October, he started a company called PosTed Services, which designs fliers and promotional materials for organizations and posts them around campus.
In addition, he works roughly 17 hours per week, every Wednesday and Friday, as a paid Investment Management Intern at Morgan Stanley, a position he started this semester in order to supplement his income.
Though holding three jobs means that Guio spends a total of 25 hours working each week, Guio explained that he works in order to earn income that goes towards paying off his student loans.
“I want to owe the least amount of money when I finish college, and [that’s] the reason I am starting to pay [off my loans] now,” Guio commented. “I would end up with $60,000 plus interest [in debt, but], I will end probably end up with $40,000 if I work.”
In order to teach more students on how to manage their finances, Emory’s Office of Financial Aid is sponsoring a series of financial education events as part of National Financial Literacy Month.
The month will feature panel discussions as well as presentations from advisors in the financial aid office and representatives from the local divisions of financial services organizations.
According to an April 13 University press release, events include a “Financial Aid/Financial Services Q&A” led by financial aid and admissions officers and a “General Changes of Retirement Planning” presentation by the Regional Vice President of Primerica, Eric Hoffman.
Peer Financial Counselors will distribute materials and answer questions at Wonderful Wednesdays throughout the month and will head an information table in the Boisfeuillet Jones Center today from noon to 3 p.m.
Though the U.S. Senate designated April as National Finance Literacy Month in 2004, this is the first year that Emory has chosen to hold “anything on this scale” to celebrate it, according to Maria Carthon, associate director of financial aid.
“The broad goal [of these events] is to provide [students] with the skills they will need to be financially independent,” Carthon wrote in an email to the Wheel
. “Some basic things are: establish a budget and stick to it, use credit [cards] wisely and begin saving early and consistently.”
She added that she feels it is necessary that students learn to differentiate between “wants and needs” in terms of spending and saving.
According to Dean Bentley, director of the Office of Financial Aid, the decisions that students make regarding their finances could have far-reaching consequences; thus, he remarked, students must make “smart choices” in determining how to handle their money and student debt.
“A sound financial decision can pay long term dividends while a poor decision can wreak havoc for years to come,” he said. “Research the long-term implications of borrowing and take ownership of your financial experience; the choices you make now will determine how well prepared you will be after graduation.”
Guio, in particular, said that he believes the month’s events will prove helpful for many students.
“People are going to realize they have to learn about [financial literacy],” he said. “Otherwise, they’re screwed because everything revolves around finances.”
— Contact Stephanie Fang