WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ- Freshman may be lacking the skills to manage money now that they are on their own, Accountant at Tepedino & co. LLP and alumnus of Monmouth University, Elizabeth Abbondandolo, believes.
“Being a freshman in a new school and having access to spending your money on anything you desire, I think students need to know a few skills before being free,” Abbondandolo said.
College is often one of the first times students obtain a credit and debit card on their own. Other than just having cash in their hand, they also have some plastic that does not disappear. “It is very necessary for every kid to know how to use either type of card,“ Abbondandolo said.
“I think one of the biggest problems is that being a freshman in college, for most people it is really their first time living on their own and not having their parents around,” Abbondandolo said. Parents are around to guide their children in the right direction, without them the students can spend and spend until all of their money is gone.
The accountant feels, “Students have a hard time in the beginning of college with money because they are making new friends and some feel like they need to spend money to impress them.”
“One of the hardest things I am struggling with is when I go to the mall with my new friends and not buying a new shirt,” freshman Kaitlin Clancy said. “And we go to the mall at least twice a week just to hang out together.”
Abbondandolo said that students should understand how to manage their money so that they do not over spend all at once. She suggested having a budget each month and only spending a certain amount of money each month. If the student goes over their goal amount of money for that month then they have less goal money for the next month. “This system will help them throughout their lives,” said the accountant.
Another tip she suggests is if possible, find a job on or off campus. The job will give students some extra money to spend on things they do not necessarily need she suggested. The hours that you are working you are not spending money. “Some students are inclined to have a job because they have no other way of having money during the school year,” she said. “As long as they know how to manage their money and have control on their spending, I think having a job definitely helps students throughout the school year.”
Clancy, a Monmouth University athlete, said that she feels that she is too busy for having a job so she needs to manage her money as well as she can to make it last through the year.
Abbondandolo advises, “Students need to know what to spend their money on and what not to.” The accountant said that it is hard for students to make this decision, but it is one of the top things students need to learn so they do not spend all their money right away.
“What I have learned from going through three years of school is that money goes fast,” senior Ashley Navin said. “I remember getting in trouble with my parents when I went home for winter break because I spent way too much money in such a little amount of time.”
Both Navin and Abbondandolo said that having a car at school was difficult because most of their money went to their gas tank.
As an alumna, Abbondandolo pointed out that one thing she wishes she knew in college was not to waste money on unnecessary things like eating out for every meal, and shopping all the time. “All the shopping I did in college was probably not necessary to spend my money on,” she said.
Final tip to all students from Abbondandolo, “Knowing how to manage and balance their money is a definite plus in helping them spend their money wisely.”