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College Bound: How to save and budget your money to a debt-free graduation!

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A practical guide based on personal experience that can help students in their journey toward being debt-free and financially secure.

Synopsis

College Bound will help young people with saving and managing money to graduate debt-free from college. The value of this book is to complete a college education with the knowledge of planning and achieving goals without any debt.

College Bound by T. Seay Gant is a very practical and handy book that can help students avoid unnecessary debt that would affect their future.


Written from the personal experience of the author, the book enables the reader to visualize their financial journey starting as early as their high school days. It gives readers real-life examples of the challenges they would encounter, the expenses they may not be able to foresee and the opportunities that could help alleviate their financial position.


Having undergone financial difficulties myself and being a beneficiary of a high school and a college scholarship, I can relate very well to the author’s attitude toward her finances.


Being debt-free is not just an instance in a person’s life but a part of a person’s perspective about money. In the case of the author, her family was the one that influenced her most even at an early age.


She was made to see how her activities, lifestyle and decisions would impact her financial condition. She gained financial literacy at a young age and was able to understand the burden of debt and its effect on one’s life.


It is not that we should avoid all cash outlay if we want to improve our financial standing. But we should consider wisely where our money goes. Will such an expense help you save more in the future? Will your disbursement now be an investment later for your future? What could assist you and what could bring you down? What could help you earn more in the long run?


The author gives very practical tips that could help students avoid unnecessary expenses. This includes advice about credit cards, renting a room, purchasing your groceries, and buying your own car. She also provides examples of jobs she took while studying. In relation to this, she discusses the importance of balancing your part-time work and your studies and aligning everything to your graduation goals.


The book also helps the student prepare for life even after graduation. What would be in store for him or her after school? What are the options available in pursuing one’s career?


This book is particularly helpful for those who are in the United States, though the principles about money, discipline and resourcefulness can be applied by anyone who wants to be debt-free.


Financial security and literacy start long before graduation. It is a discipline that helps form one’s character and attitude in life.


Reviewed by

Hi, I'm Joyce! I review Children's Books as well as Christian, Fantasy, Romance, Memoirs, and Mystery Books. I do freelance as well as book club reviews. I'm also a novelist, poet, and self-help author. My inspirational blog is definitely a place to share reviews from a similar genre.

Synopsis

College Bound will help young people with saving and managing money to graduate debt-free from college. The value of this book is to complete a college education with the knowledge of planning and achieving goals without any debt.

Early Years of Money Lessons and Influence

My parents taught me how to get ahead in life when my options were limited, not only by their conduct as thrifty professionals, but also through the basic beliefs and principles they instilled within me. While I did visit my father and his side of the family occasionally, my childhood mostly took place in a single parent home. So while my childhood was an adventure—my mom had to juggle money and bills at times to make sure all was paid by the end of the month. I always had everything I wanted and needed because of the money-handling principles I learned from my parents.

For example, my father taught me an important lesson when I was in high school and trying to figure out a college major. He said, “You do what you are good at, not what you like. You do what you like when you have paid off your debt doing what you are good at.” I still live by this quote as an adult when I make decisions about debt and finances.


Education was of first and foremost importance to my parents. If I had all As and maybe one B, I was able to do pretty much anything a little girl in southwest Atlanta desired.

I also learned from my siblings about money. As children, my sisters and I had two primary responsibilities: to get good grades in school and to respect our elders. My two sisters are older than I am, so they were also my first exposure to working and going to school. While in high school they could afford extracurricular activities because they paid for those things themselves. They paid their own way to play in the band, participate on the drill team, and march at half time with the high school band with the flag corp. I always loved math, so I learned from their example and frequently bought things I enjoyed with my own money.

I was also exposed to owning and operating a small business very early in life. My grandmother was a domestic worker, and my grandfather operated a landscaping business—which he still owns at the ripe young age of ninety-two! I saw firsthand the flexibility of working directly with customers. My grandparents’ businesses gave them control over their time and money. My grandparents created opportunities for themselves through these businesses. Any loans needed for lawn supplies, for example, were based on a trust established with many of my grandfather’s clients. His clients wanted to help grow his business by referring him to other friends and family for landscaping services. Back in those days, many black businesses were unable to obtain conventional loans through a bank, so most successful operations relied on a good name and solid relationships to receive money and grow. These experiences and lessons exposed me to the world of creating wealth, saving wisely, living within my means, and owing the least amount of debt as possible.

Throughout my childhood years and into my early teens, my parents influenced my money-handling spirit by working technical and corporate jobs. They taught me that it is difficult to live on one source of income and adequately save a good amount of money at the same time. Thus, I developed the idea that most working adults in my family should learn, start, and work a side job (or build another business) to build up their savings. This main philosophy–to always have other means of extra income—taught me how to overcome the limits of earning just one salary.

Multiple streams of income, as a concept, also revealed that I could lead myself to financial freedom because I knew I controlled both my spending power and my freedom to explore other opportunities. I had a part-time job when I was a teen, but I constantly looked for other avenues to make income that also would not interfere with my education. These opportunities gave me the chance to apply the principles I had learned as a child as well as the chance to see just how powerful the role money plays in our lives. I learned to save and make wise choices in a very real and practical way.

These activities prompted many conversations about money around the dinner table. My family and I always ate dinner around the same time at the dining room table. My mother did not care for eating in front of the T.V. because she believed we needed to talk about our day.

My sisters frequently brought their money situations into those conversations to discuss a variety of topics (e.g. how to pay for school activities on a part-time budget, etc.). My mother showed us how much money we could make each month after we paid the activity fees and other expenses. (Note: This is a good activity you can use as a parent to teach your kids how to control their time and money.)

This example of basic transactions showed us that if we wanted to participate in certain activities, then we had to determine not only how much we valued those activities, but also how much time, energy, and money those activities would demand from us. My sisters and I learned to see how a part-time job was not always enough, and it taught us to be creative with how we earned money. We worked side jobs like babysitting and helping senior family members run errands to earn extra cash. We quickly learned that expenses in high school often exceeded the money we made at our part-time jobs, and that side jobs are almost essential to effective money management.

I remember one conversation about money between my parents and siblings had one night at the dinner table. We discussed how to be successful in a career and how to get there with little to no debt.

Debt became an issue in my household when I was in middle school and my mother became a single parent of three girls. My mother provided for us and showed us the value of saving and making a dollar stretch to your benefit. We rallied as a family. We used to clip coupons; my sisters would do odd jobs such as babysitting and hairstyling, and would often work part-time after school to pay for extra school activities. This experience, and my mother working hard to support us, was a big lesson on how money really works. The foundational money principles I carry with me today were largely established in those conversations and experiences with my mother and sisters.

Many families do not speak about money to their children, and often many details about money are not discussed. Very few people know, for example, how important it is to own a home, how to save and invest in 401Ks (and other accounts), how to have adequate insurance coverage, and basic financial habits that prepare for the future.

The rare opportunity I had to learn from my parents has helped me make wise financial decisions ever since I graduated from college. Everything I know and practice as an adult came from my experience, from occasionally learning the hard way, and from the triumphs of using best principles—and it is my hope to pass along what I know to you in the coming pages.

About the author

T. Seay Gant, a finance leader, who has worked in several different finance roles in the US and abroad. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University and Troy University. She has helped many young people as a middle and high school tutor for several years. view profile

Published on November 25, 2020

Published by

30000 words

Genre: Finance & Accounting

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