College Connect: Clashing Cultures When You Go to College

By Runjie Wang

 “That makes sense to me. That Porsche belongs to a Chinese!” Americans have stereotypes that every Chinese student here is extravagant and squanders away his or her parents’ money. So do many people in China. Even worse, some internet trolls in my country always satirize that we, students studying abroad, are too rich to know where to spend. However, not everyone from China has fancy cars here. Read more…

College Connect: The Rise of Venmo and Electronic Payment Methods

By Logan Krenik

“Hey bro, do you want to go get some ice cream?” “Sorry man — I’m out of cash.” “Dude it’s all good! I’ll cover you and you can just Venmo me later.” “That sounds good! Thanks man!” Not once would anyone a decade ago think that something like this was possible. The concept of paying someone by using a phone app connected to your credit card account would be considered absolutely insane. Read more…


College Connect: Moving out of the dorms and into an apartment

By Troy D’Souza

I personally loved living in the dorms my freshman year of college. I had a good roommate, got along with people on my floor, had a meal plan for the campus dining halls and was only a short walk to most of my classes. But I knew I wanted to move off campus and live in an apartment for the first time. For me one of the most important things was finding good roommates, ones with similar values and personalities. So three guys from my church agreed to live with me and we still do! Read more…

College Connect: Managing credit for the first time

By Troy D’Souza

In high school I was super into business. I took a lot of business classes, was in DECA, a competitive business club and I even almost ended up majoring in business in college. That said, I felt like I always had a pretty good grasp on things. One thing I always wanted was a credit card to start building good credit but my parents were not having it. Finally towards the start of my junior year of college, I finally got a credit card! Read more…

College Connect: Saving for retirement, starting NOW

By Molly Stawinoga

I’m 19 years old, which means I’m about 42.7 years away from retirement (assuming I retire at the U.S. average retirement age of 61.7, according to the United States Office of Personnel Management). Now, in my day-to-day life I cannot even choose what my next-day outfit will be. So why in the world would I start planning for retirement now, when I’m just trying to live a fun college life? Read more…

College Connect: Treating Yourself on a Bare-Bones College Budget

By Jonah Emil

When I came to college, I was so excited to explore everything my campus had to offer. I went downtown to discover the new shops, restaurants, and attractions that added a whole new level of fun to my college experience. However, there is one thing in common with these activities that incoming college kids don’t realize until it’s too late. Money. I was amazed when I glanced at my bank account after first semester. Activities as simple as eating, quickly (and I mean quickly!) diminish your bank account. Read more…

College Connect: Realizing Your Right to a Raise

By Adrianna Talavera

When I was in high school, I worked as a hostess at the same Mexican restaurant for three years. I knew the ins and outs of the restaurant and I could do the job with my eyes closed. With all the experience I acquired there, I was one of few hosts that was capable of keeping the wait short and the hungry customers happy, even during the busiest of Saturday night rushes. However, at the end of my second year, I was still making the same amount of money per hour as the little 16-year-olds who were just starting out: $7.25. Read more…

College Connect: Finances of a First-Generation College Student

By Kayley Allen

Being a first-generation college student is a blessing and a curse. The feeling of being the first person in my family to go to college was, hands down, one of the best accomplishments of my life. Nonetheless, with this feeling of excitement came a dark, looming cloud of uncertainty to what lies ahead. My parents are knowledgeable in many ways, but when it came to questions about college, especially questions about student loans and the FAFSA, they don’t have the answers. Read more…

College Connect: College and Drinking Your Dollars Away

By: Kristina Esdale

When you ask a college student why they are “so poor,” the almost knee-jerk response is to say “food.” But according to Banyan.com, college students spend an average of $900 per year on alcohol; that’s practically double of the average cost of textbooks, around $450. Going away to college comes with a lot of pressures educationally, mentally and especially socially. Drinking is pretty much college culture; you’re always surrounded by people talking about getting drunk, or just drunk people in general. Read more…

College Connect: First savings account. First laptop. First big money lesson.

By Alyson Garcia

Two weeks after I turned 17, I was looking for a job. I realized I was going to need a computer in college and that I only had a year to raise $1,500 which seemed like a lot at the time. All my friends had jobs and paid at least one bill whether it was gas, insurance, or phone. All of them paid something and I paid nothing. After searching for two weeks,I got a call back from Kohl’s department store. Once I started working I wanted to spend my money on everything except bills. Read more…

College Connect: Budgeting and Spending Money in the Age of Venmo

By Betsy Smith

“I forgot my wallet. Can you order my coffee, and I’ll pay you back?” It’s a simple question coming from a trusted friend. You used to say yes and they would pay you back in cash the next time they saw you/had their wallet. Now, everything is different. “Yeah, just venmo me.” Now, they can pull out their phone and pay you the exact amount. I get a notification that says, “Thx for the Dunkin–$2.59.”  Read more…

College Connect: The importance of emergency savings

By Marilyn Primovic

Mice destroyed everything in my storage unit last summer. Instead of moving my belongings to my new apartment, I moved them to a dumpster. I also moved something else: money from my emergency savings account into my checking account to purchase necessary replacements. Ann Woodyard, assistant professor of financial planning at the University of Georgia, encouraged college students to follow my example and build an emergency savings account for scenarios like mine. Read more…

College Connect: To rent or to buy: that is the millennial question

By Kristen Rary

Caroline Wrenn is living her dream. The recent graduate’s husband was drafted by a Major League Baseball team and will finish school in the off season. All of the couple’s plans are falling into place. But they have one big issue: where to live. “My husband is a professional baseball player so we will be moving a lot throughout the year. The players can be traded, promoted, or released, at any time, meaning we could always be moved to another city,” she said. “We didn’t want the financial obligation of a mortgage when we wouldn’t be able to live in the house.” Read more…

College Connect: New tax laws, but no significant changes for students

By Maggie Scruggs

President Donald Trump rolled out a new tax plan early this year making cuts for corporations and some adjustments for individuals. Changes in tax laws can translate into gains or losses due to one’s circumstances, but for students not a lot changed, according to Lance Palmer, professor of financial planning and housing and consumer science at the University of Georgia. When the government has wanted to stimulate the economy historically, individual taxes were cut more than business taxes. Read more…

College Connect: college students and credit scores

By Hallie Smith

Having a good credit score is critical to owning a home, signing a lease and other financial responsibilities of adulthood. However, many college students do not understand how to build credit in a healthy way. Brenda Cude, a professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia, said college students “are way too concerned and too conservative about taking risks.” She said this is especially true when it comes to credit cards. Read more…

College Connect: Overcoming bad spending habits

By Henley Tullos

College is the first time most students have the chance to live away from their parents, which comes with the responsibility of paying bills, buying groceries and budgeting. “I try my best to budget for groceries and utilities.  I don’t make impulsive purchases because my priority is purchasing my needs rather than my wants,” said Abby Feltner, a student at the University of Georgia. Feltner said her parents send a monthly allowance to cover rent, groceries and utilities.  After paying the bills, her budget has little to spare. Read more…

College Connect: College students and their taxes

By Catherine Morrow

A University of Georgia professor said college students can learn important lessons about their financial situation from filing their own taxes. Lance Palmer, a professor in the department of Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics, said learning those skills as students will make it much easier to understand in the future. “I think it’s a great idea for students to file their own taxes as soon as they can because chances are, whatever state or financial affair they are in today, it’s only going to get more complicated,” said Palmer. Read more…

College Connect: Planning for that future house

By Rebecca Nauth

College students are always trying to find ways to save money. If given an option between buying a new $200 textbook or buying that same book used, water-stained, and a little torn for $50 from Amazon, it’s safe to assume that most college students would gravitate towards the second option. But when it comes to looking for a place to live, college students likely have many questions about how much money is appropriate to save and spend. Read more…

College Connect: The pros and cons of living off campus

By Charlotte Norsworthy

Many college students grapple with the decision to live on or off campus. While there are many factors to consider, for most students, the decision boils down to affordability. At the University of Georgia, most students are required to find a spot on campus to live during their first year, which can vary from single-person dorm rooms, six-person dorm rooms and even two-person apartments. Beyond the first year, however, students are free to decide where they want to live. Read more…

College Connect: Read the fine print: why students should understand their leases

By Charlotte Norsworthy

For most students, college is their first attempts at adulthood. Students must learn how to manage personal finance, maintain class-work-life balance and develop the perfect elevator pitch to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Thus, it is easy to see how signing a rental lease, a legally-binding 12-month contract, can add to the stack of intimidating tasks students come in contact with during their time in college. Read more…

College Connect: Developing a personal budget

By Michaela Patafio

Developing a personal budget serves as a useful way to manage money, allowing for more responsible spending and investing strategies while securing financial freedom for the future. A personal budget opens the door for more financial opportunities. It helps consumers prioritize their spending so that they can ensure funding for the things that are most important. Budgeting also provides the opportunity to reach financial goals, reduce or avoid debt, or meet a specific savings plan. Read more…

College Connect: Long-term goal setting key to student financial success

By Emma Korstanje

“I work a part time job, I make $500 a month and I’m having trouble budgeting,” is a string of phrases commonly heard by Matt Goren, who teaches personal finance at the University of Georgia. For many college students, taming their finances in such a situation may seem of utmost importance. However, Goren said focusing on that immediate situation shouldn’t be a student’s biggest concern. Read more…

College Connect: Students and Financial Stress

By Alec Larson

As the end of the Spring semester nears, many graduating college seniors grow increasingly worried about their finances. “I’m stressed because even though I’ve been saving money my entire life, I’ve spent a lot of it while in college just because it’s hard to work a lot,” said Stephanie Motter, who is graduating from the University of Georgia in May. “You can’t have a full time job because you’re taking classes, and doing internships, and extracurricular stuff.” Read more…

College Connect: Finding Affordable Health Insurance

By Alex Marchante

Nearly three in four college students and recent graduates have challenges finding affordable health insurance, according to a poll published by Agile Health Insurance in 2017. Given that student loan debt in the United States has topped $1.4 trillion and average student debt in 2017 passed $37,000, according to debt.org, health insurance may be one of the last things on college students’ minds when it comes to their budgets. Read more…

College Connect: Credit cards explained from a student’s perspective

By Danny McArthur

When University of Georgia student Kalah Mingo applied for her first credit card in 2016, she thought it was a straightforward offer. Mingo, a fourth-year journalism major from LaGrange, Georgia, was enticed by the student offer from Bank of America: zero interest for the first year. “I felt like it was a perfect time to start working on my credit score, so I said ‘yes’ and applied for it, and they approved me for it,” Mingo said. Read more…

College Connect: Factors to consider when renting

By Emmy Medders

Students living in Athens are only here for a short time. As a result, most of them participant in the local real estate market as renters instead of buyers. For the past five years, apartment complexes have popped up throughout the community, especially downtown. With so many options for students, what is the most important element to look for in a home away from home? “That’s easy. Location, location, location,” said Kathryn Kostovetsky, a 21-year-old fourth-year journalism major at the University of Georgia. Read more…

College Connect: Income Levels Directly Impact the Health of Americans

By Alyssa Alves

Americans with higher incomes are healthier because of their ability to afford better health insurance plans, medications and diagnostic tests. “There are a lot of problems in the American healthcare system. Compared to other countries, we are purchasing the same amount and quality of healthcare but paying much more,” said Patryk Babiarz, a professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. Read more…

College Connect: Renters insurance may not cover theft

By Ashlyn Davis

Hayley Ahuja recently called her insurance company to learn if her renter’s policy would replace stolen property. In recent weeks, Ahuja, a 21-year-old fashion merchandising major at the University of Georgia, noticed some of her items in the common area of her apartment were missing. They turned up again after three or four days, so she feared a roommate was taking these things and worried that something of more value would be taken and not returned. Read more…

College Connect: Digital waves in personal finance

By Sam Durham

Financial apps have begun to cement their place in the modern consumer market. Out of the $80 trillion in the world economy today, only $5 trillion is made of up physical currency, according to Business Insider. As global finances become more ingrained in technology, so do our personal finances. Read more…

College Connect: College Students and Credit Cards

By Charlie Ferrelle

Few college students use credit cards to pay for their expenses, but according to the experts they should. College students in 2015 used debit or check cards for 42 percent of their purchases, cash for 40 percent, and credit cards for only 6 percent, according to Credit.com. These statistics, which were gathered in spring 2015 by Student Monitor Financial Services, have increasingly become the norm, and Brenda Cude, an expert in credit cards, explained a few reasons why. Read more…

College Connect: Student loans increasing; assistance available

By Amber Haywood

The numbers are in. The outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. is $1.4 trillion held by about 44 million individuals, according to Katie Lobosco of CNNMoney. The proportion of people going to college is increasing, but the cost of educating them is increasing at a faster rate than inflation. Read more…

College Connect: Check Your Balance, Kids

By MacKinley Lutes-Adlhoch

“- $347,” read my checking account balance on the screen of my phone, glaring in the Phoenix sun. I stopped in my tracks walking home from work. “What’s wrong?” my friend asked. “I think something is wrong with my bank account. It’s fine, I’ll figure it out,” I said. When I got back to my dorm room, frazzled and in disbelief, I called my bank to see what the mistake could be. I certainly could not have overdrawn my account by that much. Five minutes on the phone answered my questions: It was not a mistake, I had messed up. Read more…

College Connect: Blackjack Tables Won’t Save Your Wallet, but Proper Planning Might

By Andrew Wei

Recently some friends and I turned 21, and we decided a Las Vegas trip was appropriate. Walking into the idea, I had quite a bit of money, but leaving the Las Vegas Strip I had 68 cents and the lesson of the importance of understanding inflated local pricing. Without quite thinking the whole plan through, we all agreed to go, booked the hotel, and within a few hours were in the car well on our way down. I knew Vegas was a little more expensive but nothing would prepare me for what I would find. Read more…

College Connect: The Moment I Viewed Orange Juice as a Luxurious Item

By SuElen Rivera

I managed to remain debt free until my junior year of college and because I chose to be spontaneous and study abroad I am now planning out how I will pay off my student debt after graduation. No longer unsure of how I feel joining all of the other students and parents paying off university tuition, there’s only a couple things I’d redo along my journey. Read more…

College Connect: A Tale as Old as Time: Where Does Your Paycheck Go?

By Veronica Graff

Laundry detergent: $11.93, fabric softener: $9.94, dryer sheets: $8.94, stain remover: $9.99, total: $40.80. Karen from Target looks up—slightly irritated that it’s 11:34 p.m. and she’s still on the clock—and asks if it’ll be credit or debit — can I pay in smiles I think to myself, maybe that will brighten her day. Read more…

College Connect: Scholarship Searching is Serious Stuff

By Kimberly Rapanut

Throughout my entire life, education was always stressed as a priority. When high school graduation came and flew by within the blink of an eye, I didn’t hesitate or second guess my decision to apply to college. Pursuing higher education and a college degree was something I felt my whole life, especially my academic one, had led up to. For me, it was simply just the next step. Read more…

College Connect: When Finances are the Dinner Conversation

By Stephanie Morse

I grew up in a family full of accountants. My parents both majored in accounting in college and most of my grandparents were also accountants. Therefore, money lessons were never in short supply as I was growing up. Words and phrases like “withholding,” “depreciation” and “F.I.C.A limit” often dominated dinner conversation after my sister and I talked about our school day. Read more…

College Connect: The First Rime I filed My Taxes

By Abdel Jimenez

Taxes are a language only a few speak. Like French, some words have one consonant and with others the ending of a word isn’t pronounced. But when it comes together it sounds beautifully.  In the same way learning how to talk taxes can make you astute by conducting a strategic tax plan. Read more…

College Connect: Practicing Patience

By Hailey Mensik

Since the day I turned 16, I’ve had a job. My first job was at a children’s clothing store and followed by many others at different restaurants. It’s been so interesting to me to see these different kinds of retail and restaurant industries through the lens of an employee, and the varying wages and benefits I’ve been offered. Read more…

College Connect: That Ancient Relic Called Cash and the Power of Budgeting

By Derek Hall

Physically handling cash is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Even if you haven’t bought in to the idea of using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, chances are your money is managed digitally from beginning to end. I opened my personal checking account online. The income my employer pays me is automatically deposited into that checking account. When I want to spend that income, I use a little plastic card that’s far too easy to slip in and out of my pocket. Read more…

College Connect: College Connect: Being Money Savvy and Balancing Family Demands as a First-Generation Student

By Bo Tefu

The expression “money doesn’t grow on trees” is a cliché. However, it is often overlooked by the people who use the expression the most. My family is the perfect example. Growing up I never had the luxury of saving money to buy myself a cute present. Saving money meant I had to make ends meet on my own by finding a way to be self-sufficient. Read more…

College Connect: On Finding Fulfillment and a Living Wage

By Arren Kimbel-Sannit

I come from a family of hardworking people who have done well in professions that don’t typically take home big paychecks. They are English professors, artists, anthropologists and psychologists. My family runs the gambit of liberal art vocations that have so precipitously fallen out of favor as science, technology, engineering and math have become academic defaults — and for good reason, as they provide job security, room for progression and skills applicable to real-world problems. Read more…

Finesse Your Way through College Finances

By Sabine Galvis

My experience with college finances has been a story of stress and worry. I often find myself wondering how I can stretch out each dollar to cover the various costs of attending school while having time to maintain my grades and extracurricular involvement. Unlike many of my peers, I cannot rely on my parents to take care of my expenses. Read more…