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"Secure the bag" offers insight on financial stability

by Imani Coaxum - Staff Writer
Tue, Apr 3rd 2018 10:00 pm

Many students feel stressed at the thought of debt, loans and assets. Some have no idea what those terms refer to at all. Regardless of how much students know about these topics, they’re something most people have to interact with throughout the course of their life, be it to attend college, buy a car or invest in a business. The College at Brockport’s sorority, Zeta Phi Beta: Chi Lambda chapter hosted an event with tons of information on how to tackle the financial world and “secure the bag” as college students. 

Thursday night, Zeta Phi Beta hosted an event co-sponsored by the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha: Rho Alpha that was sure to get students thinking all things involving their financial status and all things that influence it. 

“This event is mainly about financial budgeting and things of that nature for college students,” said Christal Dewberry, graduate student at The College at Brockport. “I know as college students, that is something we struggle with.” 

Members of the sorority and fraternity first took turns discussing several informational videos. They laid out the basic information of ways to be financially smart. Then they broke down a few of the financial terms. However, the one video that stood out to the audience the most was an example of two people who used their money differently.

The example related to what  college students wish to do after graduation; buy a house, buy a car and have a job. In reality, these are not such good ideas. Owning your own car and house is a dream, but it ultimately leaves you with nothing but debt. Buying a house while saddled with debt is a recipe for disaster. 

So, to bury yourself deeper with loans by purchasing a house and having a mortgage will only pile on more debt. The lesson of this portion emphasized the importance of starting small by renting before buying and laying out bills so that young adults have an idea of how much money they have to spend on things such as entertainment. 

Those who attended the event can definitely agree that their perspective on renting, owning, liabilities and assets.

“The biggest thing I took away from this event was to invest in my future and to start a savings account,” said sophomore Mariama Sarr.

Williams then spoke about the financial hardships and mistakes we should avoid. It is never too early to start saving. It’s as simple as opening a savings account and putting $50 in it each month. Williams spoke about saving for retirement. 

Normally, one would think “why save for retirement when I am still a student” or “I am too young to start saving for retirement.” 

Think again. He used the example of how a 20-year-old college student who puts a small amount into their savings each month would have more money by retirement than a 40-year-old who starts saving as they get closer to their retirement. According to time.com, many college students don’t save for retirement because they don’t think they have enough money to make a difference. It is not about the time you put into saving, it is about growth. 

He also touched upon credit. It is good to build your credit by getting a credit card, but remember not to go overboard with it. Use it responsibly by making small purchases and paying bills right on time. Do not rely too heavily on it; instead, think of it as a tool. According to thebalance.com, you should only charge what you can afford to pay. 

Overall, the event taught everyone a lot about where students should strive to be financially and what they could do in the present to get there in the future. We all can relate to stressing over wanting to make a good amount of money once we leave college and we stress over the debt we acquire during college. 

Having the information broken down on how to take control of personal finances and how to “secure the bag” is beneficial for people of all ages.

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