Financial responsibility for students

Every student can relate to being broke. But what is there to do about it? Especially once you’ve graduated?

In support of the Waterloo Banking Project; a new local student-run institution came about with the hope of better banking, for students, by students. Bradley Roulston, a certified financial planner who is the public relations director for Healthcare Financial Group Inc. came to Wilfrid Laurier University on Oct. 20 to help students figure that out.

The senior director of Waterloo Banking Project and the head organizer of this event Helena Cao also a third-year double major of mathematics and business, felt that students don’t worry enough about their personal finances. Cao mentioned that this is probably because the topic of finances brings out a lot of emotions and seems to have a lot of control over our lives.

Roulston termed this as “The Psychology of Money,” which according to Cao is essentially the taboo associated with finances, which is considered to be much more difficult to discuss with one’s father as opposed to the subject of sex.
Cao suggested that Roulston approach financial planning for students in terms of the analogy of financial planning as a hike.

“The first component of the financial hike is knowing your destination or knowing your financial goals, the second component that [Roulston] talked about was, well whenever you go on a hike you always pack your water bottle,” she said. “So [Roulston] made that analogy of a water bottle to paying attention to cash flow and the water itself would be the money in your account, though there are holes in the water bottle where the money is going out and there are other things that we’re filling the water bottle with like income.”

The most significant part of financial planning, according to Cao, in reference to Roulston’s analogy of the financial hike is, “tightening the faucet because it lets you save and earn more and allows you to control the rate of what’s going in and out.”

In the case that something unexpected happens you have your first aid kit, which consists of “Certain financial instruments that can get you out of trouble and those things include insurance, length of credit and short term savings.”
In terms of all the daily financial issues every individual faces there are day packs, which assist us in our everyday financial endeavors from housing to education to buying a car. Though, students must not forget about their retirement backpack, which they should be packing as of now as Cao put it “for the golden years.”

Students were given more life lessons on finances on Oct. 24 when Kevin O’Leary famously known for his role in the TV series the Dragon’s Den, spoke at the University of Waterloo.

“Don’t get in debt,” O’Leary said. “Getting in debt when you’re young is tough because it’s extremely hard to pay that back and so the basic mistake that people make is that they don’t think about what they’re putting on a credit card or they just bury themselves in debt. It’s well worth sacrificing to come out of college with as little debt as possible.”

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