The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Business and Finance village prepares students for financial independence

Janae Heinz
Shellye Carpenter informs students on how credit cards work during her presentation on Nov. 30.

The Business and Finance village welcomed Balance director of partner relations, Shellye Carpenter, and members of Star One Credit Union to come and discuss money management tips and tricks with students on Nov. 30.

This event was open to all students with roughly 20 in attendance. In the beginning, Carpenter presented about how students can learn to manage their money using credit cards, followed by a quiz to test participants’ knowledge on money terms.

Carpenter began the presentation by saying the first step to financial independence is setting short term, mid term and long term goals and to determine what you want to achieve in those different time frames.

Carpenter said she encouraged students to keep track of their spendings for 30 days by collecting receipts on everything spent in a month and categorizing expenses, such as food, transportation and housing.

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“You get something out of a vending machine or you buy something at a yard sale? Write on a scrap of paper how much you spent,” Carpenter said. “The idea is to look and see where your money is going. Is it all going to food? Is it all going to parties? Is it all going to housing? It helps you to see where your money is going and then you can make decisions based on that information. Sometimes you’re not aware of that unless you have it all on paper.”

Besides tracking your spendings, Carpenter said it is also important that you are aware of what you are getting into when making large purchases, such as a car or a house. She said the reason is when buying a car, monthly costs need to be considered including insurance, maintenance and repairs, gas and parking expenses.

“When purchasing a car from a dealer, you want to put down as big of a down payment as possible because the more you borrow, the higher the payments will be,” Carpenter said. “Be sure to compare all of the deals and there will be several different options, shop around for a good rate before you make that purchase.”

Grace Thompson, community and business development manager at Star One Credit Union, said that dealerships usually add hidden fees to contracts so buyers need to be aware of it.

“Just be careful,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of tactics out there that the dealerships try to do so that they can sell you the car but you want to understand what you are signing up for.”

Carpenter said to the participants that it is important to check bank statements frequently to ensure there are no false charges and participants should also make payments on time when using credit as well as check credit reports at least once a year.

Sean Gabriel, 21, automotive technology major, said he found the event helpful and now he knew more about co-signing and co-borrowing when buying a car.

“Don’t co-sign, don’t do that (is what I took from this session),” Gabriel said. “I’m going to be living all on my own, so I was like ‘you know what, (I) might as well come (to learn about financial independence).’”

Carpenter said financial knowledge is helpful because money is one of the most crucial factors in most parts of our lives.

“We need it to survive. You need to buy food, you need to get a roof over your head,” Carpenter said. “Learning how to manage that is necessary so that you don’t spend money needlessly, so that you don’t throw money away on the wrong things.”

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Janae Heinz, Staff Reporter
Janae is a second-year student who aspires to improve her writing and photography skills. She is excited to be a part of La Voz this quarter.

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