Budget stretches income, experts say

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Students should have a budget that works for their financial situation.

By Marie Sullins

Students should create a budget that tracks their income and expenses to avoid overspending, a financial aid education instructor from Generations Federal Credit Union said April 16 in the cafeteria of Loftin Student Center.
A budget session was conducted by Samantha Salazar to inform students on ways to develop a budget that works for them.
Salazar said she wanted students to leave the session with confidence in their spending ability and the ability to stick with a spending plan.
“Remember, budget should be an echo of your priorities,” Salazar said.
Salazar and Kimberley Blohm, student brand manager, spoke to five students in the session on budgets co-sponsored by the financial aid office and Generations Federal Credit Union.2867184-2795210088
Salazar asked students how they track their money.
Special education freshman Korina Guler said she uses her checking account balance.
In addition, Salazar said students should be specific with financial goals.
“That’s what’s going to help you stay on track of your budget.”
It’s important for students to look at their financial situation and check it frequently, she said.
Salazar told students they should find out how much income is coming in and how much of that is going out of their household.
Blohm said it is a sacrifice to budget, but it’s important for students to train themselves for the long haul.
“If you don’t see the money, you’re probably not going to spend it,” Salazar said.
Blohm asked for examples of fixed expenses. Kinesiology freshman Timmie Gills said a car note and apartment rent would be an example of fixed expenses.
Fixed expenses are easy to plan for because students know when to pay those bills, but usually flexible spending tricks people.
“Track your flexible spending for about a month and then come up with a target that you are trying to reach,” Salazar said.
In addition, Salazar referred to gas as an example of flexible expenses because the more air conditioning being used in a car, the more gas cost increases, she said.
Salazar then asked the students how they would solve the flexible spending problem of paying for gas.
Guler said she would try to carpool for a month so that she could save on gas expenses.
For more information on budgets, call Blohm at 210-230-9254 or visit http://alamo.edu/mainwide.aspx?id=4917.

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