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Financial planning may be hard for some people to consider given the current economy. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, about four in ten workers age 25 to 35 have not yet started to save for their retirement at all. For many college students, sound financial planning and the development of good money management practices can start before they graduate. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports.
Like many his age, Missouri State University student Caleb Chapman is using student loans to pay for his degree. He's majoring in computer animation.
“I intend to pay my student loans back as soon as possible. But, as far as planning it out date per date no. I mean, my career is still up in the air so I really don’t know,” says Chapman.
Missouri State University’s “Real L.I.F.E” program is a loan default prevention program that assists students in learning how to arrange their finances. Kayla Horsman is a peer financial counselor for the program.
“We give them presentations about money management, about how to handle their finances. If they take out student loans, how to prepare to repay those loans after graduation or even during school. We even talk about credit cards, building your credit score. All of the basic of personal finance,” says Horsman.
The program gives presentations and also provides one on one counseling for anyone seeking assistance in planning a budget for living on their own, or discussing options for paying back student loans.
“Repayment doesn’t begin until after you graduate or drop below half time enrollment so my advice is to pay off interest while in school so the interest doesn’t accumulate,” says Horsman
Graduate assistant for the program Robbin Fondren, says many students have trouble budgeting when they are on their own. She says, learning to distinguish between needs and wants and writing down all important expenses are good tools to keep track of your finances.
“Just because you have money now with your financial aid and it looks like you have a lot of money in your account it doesn’t mean that’s your money. It’s definitely the governments money you still have to pay that back. So living like a student and taking advantage of these things we have on campus,” says Fondern.
The next presentation by the “Real Life” program will be near the end of January. For more information visit KSMU.org. For KSUM, News, I’m Matthew Barnes.
Here is the link to the Real L.I.F.E website.