By Adrian Beltran/reporter
The final NE Campus student success seminar of the semester left students with suggestions for managing their money.
In a room of about 30 students and faculty members on Nov. 19, Randy Saleh, academic advisor and NE adjunct business instructor, presented some statistics about personal finance.
“There are 722 hours in a month and 168 hours per week. How many seconds do we spend planning our finances?” he said. “Seventy percent of Americans spend less than 20 minutes per month planning their finances.”
Saleh compared the way the American economy used to be and the way it is now.
“Our national debt is at $17 trillion. Interest alone is $500 billion a year,” he said. “China and Japan own the biggest percentage of our debt with China at 8 percent. Guess we better start learning Chinese.”
Being a college student is often associated with having poor money management skills. Many students live on instant noodles or the dollar menu at a fast-food restaurant, but Saleh said college life doesn’t have to be that dismal, and it is avoidable.
“Give your money a name: rent, food, taxes,” he said. “Money left unaccounted for will always find a way out of your personal finance plan. Trace your money. Seventy percent of Americans’ financial goal is to stay out of debt.”
Many people are not comfortable talking about credit scores. Whether they don’t care, are intimidated or simply don’t understand, most people will have to deal with them one day.
“Credit scores determine the price you will pay for money. When you buy a car or a house, you will come across credit scores,” Saleh said.
“The factors that determine your score are the percent of on-time payments, using only 30 percent of your credit card balance and derogatory marks such as collections or bankruptcies.”
Saleh said the net profit for major credit companies from 2006 to 2011 was $30 billion.
To bring down student debt, Saleh suggested living with family.
“After you graduate, ruthlessly pay off your college loans. Move back in with your parents if you have to,” he said. “In fact, if you were born after 1985, there is a 66 percent chance that your parents will end up moving in with you by the time your kids are in high school due to poor financial planning.”
Saleh said people should be more conservative with their money.
“Personal finance is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent intellectual,” he said.