Outlook: Ohio University News & Information

Monday, June 1, 2015
Avoiding financial heartache
Seminar offered students money-saving advice  

Apr 23, 2008  
By Breanne Smith  

Pay your debt. Save money. Invest. Sounds like hounding you might hear from parents. Last night students had the opportunity to learn exactly why Mom and Dad might know best at the Financial Literacy Student Seminar.

"If [students] learned only one thing, I think all of us on the panel would like it to be that the only way to reach financial goals is by saving money," Natalie Chieffe, associate professor of finance and panel moderator, said. "Each one of us, in some way, emphasized that no one should spend all their money.  Each person should save and invest as much as they can."

In addition to Chieffe, panelists included George Smalley, vice president of residential lending at Peoples Bank; Kevin Smith, Ohio University interim assistant leadership director for Campus Life; Mark Barath, Student Equity Management Group board member; and Shirley Love, finance professor.

The panel also included Sylvia Crawley, women's head basketball coach for Ohio University, who encouraged students to have a "plan B" in the event that they do not reach their personal goals. She used her own story as an example.

When Crawley was able to write her own contract with the American Basketball League in 1998, she was set to make more than any other female basketball player. Unfortunately for her, the three-year contract only lasted six months before the ABL filed bankruptcy and Crawley was without an income.

Since then, she's created a plan B, plan C, plan D and plan E for herself, owning a magazine, becoming a fashion designer, coaching and working in real estate.

"Today I have multiple streams of income," Crawley said. "I don't believe in putting all of your eggs in one basket."

Smalley advised students on the topic of credit cards and recommended having only one, saying that he occasionally needed one for emergencies when he was a student at O.U.

"There's no reason to have a whole list of credit cards, though," he said. "I have just one, even now."

Chieffe offered the advice of skipping two lattes or a magazine each paycheck to invest $5 in a savings account, which could amount to over $8,000 in 20 years.

While the panelists covered general topics, some students came with particular financial questions. Senior European studies major Emily Mitolo came to the event to learn more about investing.

"I have no clue about it," she said. "I just have a savings account, and I use my credit card like crazy."

She told the panel that she had been disappointed by the low interest on short-term CDs at her bank, and Barath emphasized that she should shop around.

"Credit unions or small banks tend to have slightly higher interest rates," Chieffe added. "With small accounts, one of the worst things you can do is put it in a big bank."

Smalley was pleased with the turnout for the event, which Women in Philanthropy hosted.

"I commend those students who care enough about their financial futures to take time out of their day to educate themselves," he said. "There is a lot to learn and tons of information to cover."

He hopes that students learned four basic principles: establish a budget and stick to it, don't spend more than you make, pay your savings account first and take care of your credit.



Related Links
Women in Philanthropy: http://www.ohio.edu/development/women/ 

Published: Apr 23, 2008 12:36 PM  

Students at the forum
Students India Pierce and Brittney Poindexter review financial literacy materials at the seminar.

Photographer Rick Fatica  

Financial wisdom for students 

Mark Barath offers financial advice for college students. In addition to wise spending (cook instead of eating out) and finding opportunities to earn (get a campus job now), he recommends the following:
  1. Shop around for a credit card and look for a low, long-term annual percentage rate.

  2. Don't fall for a free gift like subs or pizza. These cards often have the highest interest rates.

  3. Open your first credit card with a relatively small limit and you won't be as likely to spend more than you earn.

  4. Pay off your credit card balance in full every month.

  5. Avoid impulse shopping and cash advances, which often have higher interest rates.

  6. Avoid ATMs not operated by your bank, as they often charge fees.

  7. If you have to use another bank's ATM, take out larger lump sums to avoid having to use the ATM frequently.

  8. Create a budget and stick to it to avoid late fees.

  9. Educate yourself about finances at Web sites such as www.yourmoneynowonline.org, a free online resource from Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray, or www.mymoney.gov, operated by the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission.


Share this story

Bookmark and Share

Email To:

A valid EMAIL TO address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.
Email From:

A valid EMAIL FROM address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.


 Top stories

Feb 4, 2003
Residence halls conserve and recycle
Feb 5, 2003
E Street to Late Night: An evening with Max Weinberg
Feb 17, 2003
Kenner Bush receives prestigious Founders Citation
Wilfred Konneker receives prestigious Founders Citation
Mar 5, 2003
The Local Girls to perform at Ohio University Lancaster Campus
Sep 2, 2003
Local artist Ora Anderson featured on WOUB's 'Afternoon Edition'

Sign up for emergency text messages.
Outlook welcomes your feedback, news items and story ideas
Share comments about the site
Submit an announcement
Share a faculty, staff or departmental achievement

Subscribe to the Outlook listserv

Tel: 740-593-1890    Fax: 740-593-1887   E-mail:
All Rights Reserved