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Managing Money

This module, shown in four parts below, highlights ways to determine your income and your expenditures, ways to generate money, a variety of methods for decreasing spending and saving money, and provides further resources regarding money management for students.

Part 1: Paying for College

Adventures in Money Management - Part 1: Paying for College

(D'shaun - a student in his 20s): Dude! Why the long face?

(Don - a student in his 20s): Hey, D'shaun, I just found out my parents can't help me pay for college next semester. What am I gonna do?

(D'shaun): No problem, Don. You could get a part-time job like me...or...better idea: I went to a workshop a Pima counselor gave, and she had lots of money management tips. Maybe we can talk with her before class today.

Later…(D'shaun and Don are at Pima Community College)

(Counselor - a woman in her 30s): So you want some ideas on how to manage your money and pay for college? I've got some great information to share, and we can talk about your needs.

A few minutes later…

(Counselor): So let's take a look at how much money you really have, Don. Take inventory of what your income is: what you bring home every month.

(Don): I know what that is: nothing!

(Counselor): Okay, that's a starting point! Next, we need to figure out how much you spend. This is the tricky part. Most people don't realize how much they really spend. They don't account for the extra cup of coffee or soda at the cafeteria…

(D'shaun): …or lunch with friends like me once a week!

(Don): Hey, D'shaun, how come I always end up paying?

(Counselor): Ha, ha, Don, you know you can learn how to say no, even to friends! Seriously, if you're not sure where your money goes, I suggest you take a few days and record what you spend. Then see how much you're really spending. Take a look at your spending record and we can review it together, or you can take it to one of our workshops for students. All this will help you make an accurate budget. Then you'll have to make some decisions about how to best spend your money.

(Don): Okay, that's all cool. I'll do that. And thanks for the worksheets. But I have one more can I get more money?

(Counselor): Great question! There's going to be a workshop for students on personal finance and budgeting at another campus next week! Why don't you sign up for it?

Continued in Part 2...

Part 2: How to Generate Money

Adventures in Money Management - Part 2: How to Generate Money

(Don): I'm going to that personal finance workshop at Pima today.

(D'shaun): Cool beans! If you get any free samples bring some home. I prefer $50's and $100's!

(Don): Ha, ha! the personal finance workshop

(Teacher - a woman in her 30s): Now we're going to talk about ways you can make more money. I know that money is tight for many students.

(Female student in her 30s): Money is tight for me - I'm raising 3 kids by myself!

(Teacher): First, you can work while you're in school. Most students find they have to work while they're in school even if they have financial support outside of federal grants, scholarships and loans. Working while in school isn't such a bad thing. If you work in your field of major you can actually gain valuable experience.

(Female student in her 20s): My husband and I both work but we're barely getting by.

(Teacher): You're not alone! Many students find that there isn't enough money sometimes when emergencies hit.

(Female student in her 50s): Yeah, like when our air conditioner died last July!

(Male student in his 20s): I got laid off last year, but I got a temp job during the holidays.

(Teacher): Let's take a moment to brainstorm some ways to generate money before an emergency hits. Let's talk first about quick ways to increase cash flow.

(Don): You could have a garage sale. Or you can sell your stuff online.

(Female student in her 50s): Yeah, like your old books.

(Female student in her 30s): I babysit neighbors' kids sometimes for extra money.

(Male student in his 20s): Housesitting and petsitting are great ways to earn extra cash!

(Teacher): You can also run errands for family members, friends, and neighbors. Maybe you know someone who doesn't drive or can't get around very easily.

(Male student in his 20s): I mow a few people's yards for them.

(Teacher): These are all great ideas! You can also do some proactive planning for emergencies. This is where scholarships and grants come into the picture. For those of you interested in exploring this topic more in depth, Pima offers a course in personal finance: STU 102. It sounds like many of you want more information. STU 102 could be really helpful for you!

Continued in Part 3…


Part 3: How to Decrease Expenses

Adventures in Money Management - Part 3: How to Decrease Expenses

(D'shaun): I'm off to my Personal Finance class now!

(Don): I'll be here counting my millions…of pennies. STU 102…

(Teacher - a man in his 40s): Now let's talk about how you can cut your expenses. What are the areas in your life where you might be able to save money? Let's see if we can find 100 dollars a month. First, you can reduce the cost of utilities, like getting rid of cable.

(Student off screen): What the…?

(Teacher): Everything's online now anyway.

(Male student in his 20s): I rent my textbooks.

(Female student in her 20s): I go to the College and public libraries for books.

(Teacher): Even turning off lights when you're not using them can help. What do you think about using credit cards?

(Male student in his 40s): I made the mistake of really charging up a credit card and it took me a while to pay it off. So now I pay in cash because then I know I have the money.

(Teacher): You can also reduce food and personal item expenditures.

(Student off screen): You mean like cutting back on beer?

(Another student off screen): Dude, that's insane!!

(Teacher): Ha, ha! Okay, that's one way you can reduce expenses. What are some other ways?

(Female student in her 30s): A friend and I buy personal items in bulk at discount stores, and then split them. We also compare prices and use coupons a lot.

(Teacher): Also think about the difference in cost between cooking at home and eating out.

(D'shaun): I bring my lunch to save money.

(Female student in her 20s): I save money by splitting meals with a friend, and just going out for coffee or dessert instead of dinner.

(Teacher): Great! Eating less expensive food and taking advantage of happy hours and early bird specials also helps. You could even have a potluck!

(Sound effect): Beep beep

(Teacher): That's my watch. Let's take a short break, and when we come back we'll talk about entertainment expenses.

Continued in Part 4…

Part 4: How to Decrease Expenses - Continued

Adventures in Money Management - Part 4: How to Decrease Expenses - Continued

After the break in STU 102...

(Same teacher - a man in his 40s): Now let's talk about entertainment expenses. What kind of things do you spend money on for entertainment?

(4 students off screen): Downloading music. Going out. Games. Movies.

(Teacher): So let's list things to do that are free or less expensive. You can go for a walk, take a hike, dance, go fishing, or fly a kite.

(Female student in her 30s): Read a book. Play music.

(Male student in his 40s): Watch a movie online. And be sure to ask for student discounts at theaters!

(Second male student in his 20s): You can kiss!

(Second female student in her 20s): Woo woo!

(Teacher off screen): You can play cards and board games.

(Second male student in his 20s): Or play basketball.

(Teacher): These are all great ideas! I'm going to pass around another worksheet that will enable you to write down the ideas that you think will work best for you. It's important to be aware of options but also to know what will fit in your life.

(Teacher): You can also do volunteer work. You can even save money on haircuts and clothes.

(D'shaun): Yeah, I only get my hair cut twice a year.

(Student off screen): We noticed.

(D'shaun): Ha, ha.

(Teacher): Watch for specials for hairdressers and barbers, look for free samples, and buy clothes on sale.

(Female student in her 30s): Who needs to pay full price for clothes anyway? Plus, I only buy clothes that I really need not just clothes I want.

(Teacher): Exactly! Avoid clothes that need to be dry-cleaned. If you get bored with your clothes you can share them with friends or family members.

(Male student in his 20s): Hey, can I borrow your pink flowered tank top?

(Female student in her 20s): Very funny!

(Teacher): If you really have to have a luxury purchase, wait 24 hours before buying it…just think about it. Part of the overall key to money management is thinking carefully about one's decisions. What about housing costs?

(Third female student in her 20s): I cut costs by sharing an apartment.

(Teacher): Great! And when you want to give someone a gift, look for sale items.

(Another female student in her 30s): I make gifts for my kids instead of buying stuff!

(Teacher): You can also save on transportation costs...

(Second female student in her 20s): I take the bus to class.

(Teacher): …and you can look for coupons on changing oil, and use cash or debit cards to pay for gas.

(Male student in his 40s): You can carpool with your family, friends, or roommates. They can help with gas money. You can also ride a bike or walk. You can wash your car yourself.

(Teacher): Not everything works for everyone, of course. The important thing is to keep considering some of these things you can do to save or make extra money. I challenge you to aim for saving $100 a month!


Additional Resources

If you'd like more information on money management, here are some great resources:



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