|Taking control of the urge to splurge|
|Written by Davonte Longmire, Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 05 February 2013 16:03|
College Students are at the greatest risk of accumulating thousands of dollars in debt very quickly, for they are the targets of credit card companies. The new sense of freedom college allows for often results in students over zealously splurging at sporadic moments.
The pizza ordered last night, the candy bar picked up at the register or the occasional late night trip to the vending machine all definitely add up and the possibility of paying off a pizza 35 years later may haunt you. However, there are ways to avoid this.
“I recommend that students create a budget. Figure out expenses and be realistic with your expenses. You should limit your budget and stick to the budget,” said David Krueger, associate director of ISU’s financial aid office.
Be realistic — spending money on tiny things will inevitably happen; however, the implementing of a new budget allows a disciplined spending pattern. The budget should contain a miscellaneous spending quota every month. This quota can be used for hanging out with friends, purchasing movie tickets or buying new clothes. But keep in mind, once you have spent this amount, it is gone for the month.
“Credit score is important and the history can have a huge impact on the score, so stay on top of it. Debt-income ratio is key to focus on; basically, if you have too much debt and a rather low income, that is not good,” said Tony Caputa, a certified finance counselor of Genesis Financial Management.
Keeping up with the debt-income ratio will act as a reminder that you cannot spend more than a certain amount and also will hinder future spending.
“Start actually looking at student loans carefully. Students that have taken out loans to pay for housing or books should really look at how to repay the loans now rather than later,” Krueger said.
Another way to stay away from temptation is to practice self-discipline. Never go to a register and buy a candy bar or lip moisturizer you never intended to buy originally. Among that list includes magazines, cell phone accessories, clearance items and snacks.
“Never use a credit card to pay for small things only buy what you absolutely need. Pay attention to and be able to differentiate between need and want,” Krueger said.
Product placement, when it comes to consumerism, targets people to buy more items. Specialists spend thousands of dollars to research how they can get consumers to spend more money. How items are placed, along with the design of the item itself, convince consumers to give into temptation and spend a few more dollars.
Some examples of effective product placement are items located close to the register, or the $5 movie bin in any super-store.
When a product can get to a person quickly, it will often entice them into spending more money because of how fast the consumer can satisfy their needs, so be conscious of avoiding quick and easy deals that appear in stores.
Students with debt can visit companies, Genesis or the Financial Aid Office, to receive help about their debt. Genesis has a website, located at www.yourgfm.com, that features budget tools and provides other information in assisting with debt. Also on the website you can fill out information and then someone will assist. The financial aid office also offers similar features.
One last tip if you are an avid shopper is to delete saved websites encouraging shopping from bookmarked websites on your Internet browser.
Unsubscribe from those junk emails from clothing stores about deals and sales, the constant reminder pushed to your cell phone acts as reinforcement to spend.
Lastly, one should find an activity to replace time spent on shopping websites. Perhaps attempt to learn about a new computer program and its functions.