CSI Helps with Crippling Debt and Holiday Shopping

Robert King Kee Educates Students on Fiscal Management

By Rami Tabari

While CSI students find it difficult to manage their money around the holiday season, the campus aims to teach students to be smart spenders.

Over 75% of undergraduates have credit cards and with student debt peaking at an average of $37,000 upon graduation, students are now faced with the temptation of Black Friday and other various holiday sales.

Robert King Kee, coordinator for student leadership development, hosts the same event every year in an effort to advise students on how to separate wants from needs.

His presentation will suggest to create a budget: consider cost of food, supplies, and living over material objects that aren’t necessary to someone’s state of being.

“Spending money is all about ethics, health, and balance,” he said. “What happens when you land a big job? Students don’t know how to manage money so they end up embezzling. Budget is a moral document, and what you spend your money on signifies moral value.”

75% of students on campus work a full time job and have issues with managing their money.

They’re told by credit card companies, without giving them a lesson in interest, that spending will increase their credit score which allows them to get better loans and purchase a house.

Students struggle with getting a paycheck every week and thinking that it’s going to pay off all the loans, credit card debt, and housing.

Plenty of people who sign themselves up for debt, don’t research the interest rates that they’re getting involved with.

John-Michael Mon, a CSI alumni, will be presenting the event on November 17th, a week before Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

It will be located at Dolphin Cove – south conference from 2:30 – 6:00.

“High credit scores enable you to take out loans with a lower interest rate,” Mon said. “But you have— to make sure to only spend less than you have to build a healthy credit score.

Credit cards allow students to have the ability to pay for things when they don’t have the cash, but they also have a higher propensity to spend money.”

Last year, people collectively spent over four billion dollars online during Black Friday sales.

Every holiday season, over a billion dollars worth of marketing is pushed to get people to spend their money on gifts which no one can afford.

As a result, after the new year, students get stuck with paying interest on stuff they don’t need or bought for someone else.

Jennifer Weeks, a student with 12 credit cards, shared how she dealt with her debt.

“I bought a safe, took all the credit cards I wasn’t using and put them in there to stop me to from using them again,” Weeks said. “It’s actually helping because they’re not on me when I go out so the temptation isn’t there.”

“When I pay off the others I plan on locking those away too,” she continued.

Weeks was told by Credit Karma that she needed to have 11-20 credit cards to best build up her credit score.

Students are swayed by companies to continuously rack up debt because people don’t know how to budget themselves.

Whether students arrive of their own volition or not, concepts such as creating personal budgets, securing/protecting your credit and savings, and investing are important for a lifetime of fiscal management.

“I don’t care what motivates them to come, whether it be for the clue credit or simple curiosity,” Kee said. “As long as they’re there learning and being educated. We want them to come and be inspired because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of intervention.”

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