Students inform peers about smart financial practices
Last week was Money Week, a time when Concordia students were introduced to financial education efforts led by sophomores Kjerstin Engebretson and Kirsten Henagin, who are interns for Money Revolution: a program developed by the financial services company Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
The program, as described on Thrivent Financial’s website, is “a movement of college students who believe in freedom of choice and who seek to be wise and generous with their cash.”
According to Henagin, Concordia is one of 10 schools with a Money Revolution program and five particular money topics in mind.
“(The five money topics are) spending; saving; credit and debt; protection insurance; and student loans,” she said.
Engebretson and Henagin employed multiple strategies to publicize Money Revolution and get students thinking about their money.
“There are some decisions that you make that could either make or break you after college,” Engebretson said.
Engebretson and Henagin led a lecture entitled “What is Mint.com?: How to Manage Your Money.” It included tips on creating a budget, managing spending and saving money for when it will be needed most. They also explained the different services Thrivent Financial offers.
Engebretson and Henagin have also started incorporating Money Revolution principles into various business classes by giving “firestarters.”
Firestarters are “five-to-seven minute speeches about the five money topics. You have to include the Money Revolution mission as well as an action set for students to take out,” she said.
The girls spent several days tabling in the atrium as well.
“There are some students that have come up to our table and asked questions and have seemed really interested,” Engebretson said.
Dr. Jim Bryan, interim head of the career center and adviser for the Concordia Money Revolution program, believes there should be a particular emphasis on guiding students through the process of paying off student loans.
“I think, increasingly, students will leave college with some significant financial burdens,” he said. “It’s certainly much different than 25, 30, 40 years ago where a lot of people didn’t leave school with a lot of debt.”
Bryan also suggested a focus on planning for retirement.
“It seems funny to be telling students starting off in their career to think about retirement,” he said. “But there are important decisions to be made at the front end of your work life and as you prepare and look out toward the end of your work life.”
Engebretson and Henagin want Concordia students to think about these subjects in the future as more money-related events are planned.
“We’re very passionate about this because we believe in it, and we think that the students of Concordia can really benefit from it,” Engebretson said.