University Daily Kansan, KS 03-27-06 Editorial Board: Students need better money habits


University Daily Kansan, KS


Editorial Board: Students need better money habits

By Ty Beaver

Textbooks, rent, car payments, a night or two at the bars each week; the sources of student spending are limitless, ranging from the necessary to the superfluous.

Good spending is a valuable skill for anyone, but especially for students who are usually on fixed incomes.

Unfortunately, many students don’t have solid “money sense” or know how to curb excessive spending. Along with the cost of education, bad spending habits can propel a student into a seemingly insurmountable hole of debt. This not only endangers the student, but society at large.

A survey at Iowa State University found that the average student had three credit cards with a total debt of $1,000. Most students said it didn’t feel like real money was being spent when a credit card was used. In another study, 40 percent of students aged 16 to 22 would buy a new pair of jeans or a similar item even if they did not have the money for it and 22 percent said they would use a credit card for the purchase.

If a student only pays the minimum payment on a credit card bill, it can take decades to chip away at the debt.

Such a poor sense of money and a lack of financial literacy indicates that students need to take better care of their bank accounts. Students can learn numerous practices to become or remain financially healthy and to stay that way, from understanding income and keeping good financial records to making sure to pay bills on time and maintaining a good credit history. Financial advising services are available in Lawrence and students should take advantage of them if necessary.

Everyone should be able to have a good time in college. The key is to not have to pay for it in the future, literally.