Monday, September 7, 2009
In a Sluggish Market, Students Need to Prioritize their Expenses
Posted by Rico K. Setyo
When Paul McGinnis heads back to college in Spokane today, he'll be packing more than his CDs, laptop and favorite sports posters. He's also carrying some newfound financial awareness.
Money's tight this year in the McGinnis family, and it's made the 19-year-old college sophomore think twice before whipping out his debit card for every little purchase. Earlier this year, his dad, Greg, was laid off from a 20-year job in the building materials industry and his mom, Nancy, took a pay cut from her administrative job at Kaiser.
Everyone's watching the wallet, including Paul, who will be living in a dorm at Whitworth University.
"I'm going to be cutting back on the little things, like eating out when I can eat in the cafeteria for free, or going to the mall to buy clothes I don't really need," said Paul, wearing a T-shirt from the campus radio station where he is a disc jockey.
He's seen the financial impact at home and among his college buddies. Six of his freshman-year friends – from Montana to Orange County – aren't returning because of financial setbacks in their families, he said.