Students find support through SHSU financial service programs

Ca-ching, ca-ching!

The sound of the economy chewing up money is a common sound to college students. However, buying things is easy, but paying for them is not.

With the economy in a recession, Sam Houston State is offering services to its students to help them keep a few extra dollars in their pockets.

The new Student Money Management Center, whose motto is “Command Your Cash,” opened in Oct. 2008 to help students deal with their money, including the lack thereof.

The goal of the SMMC is “to improve the financial well-being of our students by providing the unbiased education, counseling, tools and solutions students need in order to achieve financial independence.”

The SMMC provides free services to students in the form of seminars, workshops, online resources and one-on-one financial counseling. The center also helps students on topics such as budgeting, saving money, setting financial goals and much more.

“We hope to work with students to try and show them how they can make their money stretch a little further and give them some tips to help them in this economy,” Kristy Vienne, director of the Student Money Management Center, said.

In hard economic times, students often need help and advice with how to manage their money, especially budgeting.

“Students need to establish the difference between needs versus wants,” Vienne said. “They should really pace themselves and try to eliminate impulse purchases.”

Saving money is something that usually causes students to cringe, but according to Pam Laughlin, director of Career Services, saving money is something they should seriously consider. Graduates of 2009 are going to see that the starting salary is going to typically be on the flat side, Laughlin said.

“Nationwide, the salary offering is about $49,353, including some of the high paying careers such as engineering,” Laughlin said.

She advised students to look ahead into their future. For rainy days that are sure to come, students should make a conscience effort to save and prepare for that time.

“The three main things I have found that students spend their money on is cell phones, food and entertainment,” Assistant Director of the SMMC Jacki Brossman-Ashorn said. “If they cut back on those then the money saved can go to their future financial goals.”

From Feb. 23-27, the SMMC will be hosting a Financial Literacy Week for students, which will include a variety of events such as a money booth, free food and literature. There will also be guest speakers including one from, internal speakers from the scholarship office and much more. Also, organizations will be given a chance to win money by attending the events.

“This is kind of our big kick-off to let the students know that we are here,” Brossman-Ashorn said.

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