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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Quad directors lead workshop on money management

Quad Directors teamed up to help college students become financially literate in their “Manage Your Money Before it Manages You” workshop.

The workshop was held on March 27 during Campus Life Time. It was the first of three to be held this semester and highlighted the basics of finances.

Dillon Beckford explains the importance of saving money and making wise financial decisions. (RYAN MUI / THE STATESMAN)
Dillon Beckford explains the importance of saving money and making wise financial decisions. (RYAN MUI / THE STATESMAN)

Dillon Beckford, the Interim Quad Director for Tabler, and Marisa Jeffers, Quad Director for Schomburg and West Apartments, led the introductory workshop.

“When…you are on your own and it’s your money you’re spending, you pay more attention than you do when you’re spending someone else’s money,” Beckford said. It is a change for college students who are making the transition from relying on parental assistance to leading independent lives.

Beckford stressed the importance of “paying yourself first.” Saving money and making good financial decisions is key to controlling finances in addition to keeping track of how money is spent.

The ability to identify wants from needs also comes into play. Beckford detailed the difference between these two during the workshop and uses analogies to put them in perspective. People who are less financially stable, for example, focus on what they need to survive.

Not only did the workshop distinguish the two, but it also detailed how to manage the things people want in a healthy manner by identifying what is called the “Latte Factor.”

“This refers to…the thing you know you like to splurge on,” Jeffers said before asking the audience what their Latte Factor is. Together, the group calculated how much money one member, who purchased an extra-large black coffee from Dunkin Donuts twice a day every day, spent annually on his coffee alone.

The cost exceeded $1400. According to Jeffers there is nothing wrong with treating oneself, but splurging must be managed. When purchasing desired items, the best deals must be sought out.

Balancing money is especially important for tracking people’s cravings or wants in addition to needs.

The problem, however, with spending and keeping track of where money is going is society’s mentality. “We aren’t a society that likes to wait,” Jeffers said. It is the sense of urgency that prompts people to buy things that they may not need at the moment.

Around 80 percent of the average American’s salary is spent on items that last no longer than three years.

The workshop ensures that people will leave more aware of their decisions and how spending and overspending could control an individual’s future.

According to Tamara Weathers, Residence Hall Director of Yang College, and Dr. Peter M. Baigent, Vice President of Student Affairs promoted the workshop, finding that such information should be available to students.

The individuals who run the workshops are not financial advisors but simply want people to be more informed about how various financial aspects work as well as the benefits and implications of saving and spending money.

Advice was also offered regarding methods of saving money, spending wisely and choosing banks that aid their clients throughout the workshop. The importance of balancing a checkbook or staying on top of finances through online banking was discussed in further detail.

The goal of this introductory workshop was to teach students how to prevent their spending habits from becoming financial issues in the future. This is especially important since 60 percent of individuals ages 18-35 do not balance their finances, according to the workshop.

“Manage Your Money Before it Manages You” also touched upon different kinds of cards like credit, debit, secured and prepaid, and the pros and cons of each.

“Money is an emotional thing,” Jeffers said. But, the important thing is to be aware of where that money is going and the appropriate times to spend it.

This semester is the first time this particular workshop has been offered and it may not be the last. “Manage Your Money Before it Manages You” will be offered again on April 10, 2013 for anyone who was unable to attend. There will be another workshop held in April, also known as the financial month, on the 17. The workshop, “Why Your Credit Matters and How to Protect It” will be held in the GLS/HDV Center from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

The final workshop which will discuss saving and setting a budget will be exclusively for seniors, who must register for the event. They will leave the workshop with packets geared towards their personal finances, relevant to the topic of the workshop. This workshop was also offered last fall semester.

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