Leaving the Nest?

On Wednesday, February 25th the Financial Learning Ambassadors of Osceola Campus held a workshop titled, “Leaving the Nest?”. This workshop was designed to educate students about the steps they need to take and the factors they have to consider before moving out of their parents’ house.

At the door, cookies and candy were offered and the students were directed to sit. At each desk spot there were three handouts: a budget worksheet. a moving out checklist, and a savings contract. To my surprise the Ambassadors initiated the session with a funny rap video about the struggle of having no money and living on a low budget. Then they directed our attention towards more serious topics by explaining the 28% rent rule, which basically indicates how much of a students gross income should be spent on paying rent. The other 72% should go towards transportation, food, utilities, tuition, savings, and other things that we can’t survive without.  They stressed the importance of location when it comes to finding a place to live and how that can influence both the price of rent and the cost of transportation. A good roommate is key to financial stability because you know you can depend on that person to cover their share.

Making a monthly budget was the next thing on the agenda, which helped us calculate income versus expenses (including savings). Of course, this did not apply to when you first move because more things are needed that you don’t already have. The checklist we received made me realize how many things are needed in a household and that we take for granted every day. Anyways, after explaining the importance of saving for emergencies and future expenses, we were asked to read and sign a contract as evidence of our commitment to save at least $10 per pay check or $20 a month. The “Save Big, Feed Your Pig” contract agreement is something that Financial Ambassadors in all Valencia locations are doing with the specific mission…

To promote good savings behavior and maximize saving potential, the goal is to develop an annual time for students to look at their personal finances and take positive financial action. This is not a one time effort and over time can be embedded into the Valencia campus culture to support student financial capability.

Furthermore, they challenged us to take the 52 Week Money Challenge, where you transfer a correspondent amount of money, for whatever week you are in, into your savings account. For example, the first week you would save $1, the second week $2, […] the 52nd week $52, and in the end you will end up saving a surprising amount of $1,378. It doesn’t even have to be a savings account (even though these do generate interest) since, after the contract signing, we were each given a piggy bank with the words, “Save your change for a change” written on the side of it’s protruding belly. I have to admit, this is one of the best, most memorable workshop I have attended yet and hopefully we can each meet our savings goals and feed our piggies.