Todd Romer, founder of Young Money Magazine and Youngmoney.com, advised students at a presentation at Weber State University on Wednesday to begin saving and investing.
“Start saving something: at least 10 percent automatically,” Romer said. “Saving is difficult, and we’re all human. It’s hard to sit down at the end of the month and put aside a certain percentage on your own. That’s why it’s a great idea to set up with your bank or credit union to do it for you.”
Romer said utilizing the services of a bank or credit union takes the thought and number crunching out of savings and allows you to create the habit without the struggle.
According to Romer’s second step, “Just say no sometimes,” no one can only buy the things they need. Any financial adviser will tell someone to cut out unnecessary expenditures. However, Romer pointed out that current culture and necessity dictates that people often shop for things they want and need, as wants are important as well.
Maggie Jordan, a creative writing major and sophomore, felt that the seminar gave her some helpful tips for managing her finances.
“ I really liked step two . . . because I’ve tried to just say no period, and it doesn’t work, and I end up spending everything I’ve saved,” Jordan said.
Romer also advised students to “get in the game of investing” through mutual funds. Romer acknowledged that this can be scary, especially for novice financial citizens, but that a lot of free information exists for new investors.
“Not only youngmoney.com, but places like Fidelity Investments, Vanguard and Etrade have a lot of education on their websites for new investors,” Romer said.
Some students at Romer’s presentation didn’t believe they had enough money to begin investing.
“That’s where mutual funds come into play. Essentially you’re investing in a lot of different stocks rather than just one and mutual funds are managed professionally so you don’t have to worry about knowing which stocks to choose. Most people aren’t investment experts, and the professional management takes that pressure off,” Romer said.
Lastly, Romer advised those in attendance to “pay yourself second” rather than what traditional financial gurus advise which is to pay yourself first, meaning put aside your savings before doing anything else.
“This is to make sure money doesn’t become number one in your life by giving to someone else first. Whether it’s your church, mission, ministry, the Red Cross, a cancer society, it doesn’t matter. Just whatever you believe in, make sure to give some of it away,” Romer explained.
Jordan said she regretted that Wednesday’s seminar was not very widely publicized but expressed interest in attending more finance seminars at WSU in the future. Resources on campus are not limited to guest presentations, however. Jim Joy from the Weber State Credit Union was also in attendance at the seminar and available to answer questions. The credit union office at WSU offers many services.
“A benefit of the credit union is our location here on campus as well as our accounts being very simple. We offer checking, savings, as well as loan servicing,” Joy said.
Students can also meet with a loan officer free of charge to discuss their finances and credit score.