Workshop teaches fiscal responsibility

As adulthood creeps up on us, we require many skills that we never had to worry about as children, according to Corey Cole, an Eastern New Mexico University accounting professor.

Money spending and money management are definitely the more essential skills that you should acquire while you are younger, Cole said.

Cole put on a workshop to help students better understand this idea. In his workshop, Cole imparted a variety of tips and tricks of the trade to keep your bank account and debt in check.

The workshop was intended to give people a better idea of credit, where it comes from, how to keep a good credit score and how to manage your funds in a detailed and efficient way. His presentation covered financial literacy, money management tips, credit scores, credit card statements, credit mistakes, financial concepts, identity theft and taxes.

Cole said more than half of students leave college with debt and that student loan debt has surpassed credit card and car loan debt. The best way to combat this fresh out of college is to have a good understanding of money.

Every individual has a personality of how they spend their money. This is complexly influenced by our parents, political views and even our religion. Building a good financial plan and remaining organized is also another good way to keep debt at bay.

Believe it or not, said Cole, building credit and keeping your credit score high through paying bills on time is another good way to manage your money wisely.

Your money personality involves what, when, where and why you buy what you do. How much of your budget are you putting aside for this particular item? Do you really need to buy a huge bag of chocolate or would it be wiser to buy healthier food?

A good way to keep this in check was explained through a financial plan. Define your financial goals, make plans to reach for your goals and take the actions necessary to make it a reality. There are many programs and apps that one can use to manage finances. Some examples given were Microsoft Excel,

Quicken and even just paper.

Keep in mind that the more you are paying for, the harder it will be to manage everything on paper, said Cole. Through a program like Excel, people can customize their budget very clearly and manage it easily. Having a financial backup plan couldn’t be smarter. People rarely plan for unusual expenses, track their spending, keep an emergency fund or have detailed expense categories.

“If you are good at managing your funds, then this is probably reflected in your credit score,” said Cole. “This score is used to determine interest rates, care insurance rates, employment and by landlords.

“Your credit score basically shows people how financially responsible you are, he added. “If your score is low, then most people will expect you to be bad at paying bills on time and see you as financially irresponsible. Ultimately, you really want to keep this score up if you hope to live an easy life.”

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