The WoMen’s Center hosted a money-saving workshop led by Cal State Fullerton’s US Bank Branch Manager Layah Hollandsworth for students Wednesday.
The workshop addressed the difficulty of housing and transportation costs that students face in college. Students were given various handouts with information, such as spending plans based on monthly income their outside expenses.
“There’s a large opportunity for education around credit, around finances, around budgeting,” Hollandsworth said.
Rent should not be more than 30 percent of a person’s gross income and transportation should not be more than 15 percent, Hollandsworth said. Housing and transportation combined should not exceed 45 percent, she said.
Hollandsworth also discussed credit cards and which ones were best for college students, especially for those who have never had one before.
“Start off with something small. Check with your bank see if they got some type of student Visa or student MasterCard,” she said. “Those should really be lower limits.”
US Bank credit card gives college students a limit between $300 and $1,000 for their first credit card, said Hollandsworth.
“It’s a practice card. It’s learning how to use credit, how to budget a payment, making sure it’s affordable,” she said.
Hollandsworth created two different scenarios where students calculated if they could adequately afford their standard of living.
Students should pay attention to what they can pay back, Hollandsworth said.
She advised them to plan weekly their monthly spending.
“Build a budget, build a spending plan and write down exactly what is coming in and coming out,” she said. “It’s harder to do something if you can’t track it.”
College students tend to have a more difficult time in organizing their monthly spending, Hollandsworth said.
“It does seem to be a challenge,” she said. “The lack of having the education, having the resources to know how real life is supposed to work.”
Jesus Calderon, 19, attended the workshop to learn more about money management. Calderon lives on his own and said he has a lot of expenses.
“I realized I would really benefit from this,” he said. “ I realized that there is a budget that we all have to follow and there are other alternatives that we could live by.”
Rosalina Camacho, coordinator for the WoMen’s and Adult Reentry Center, said the center tries to host these events each semester because of the impact they have on students. She hopes these workshops inform students on how they are spending their money and how they can stay out of debt.
“We want to try to help students as much as we can, because if you are anxious about your finances, you are not going to be thinking about studying,” Camacho said.
US Bank has a free resource page for students that talks about credit, budgeting and free financial modules. Students can go to http://www.usbank.com/student for more information.