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Intern’s OUTLOOK – June 2004

By OUTLOUD Intern: Greta Acosta

Money comes and goes. Money is often misused and mishandled. Now is the time to seize the moment and learn how to use your money.

The first thing that comes to mind after hearing the word “invest” is the stock market. It is a good place to make some quick cash but it is also risky and difficult to master. So for practice, make some simple investments rather than wasteful choices with your dough. Many people have old baseball cards, beanie babies, or classic movies bought years ago at low prices, which could be sold today for more. Try eBay where you can setup an account, choose an item to sell. For something a little faster but less effective, sell it to a pawnshop. Plan to take half of what you earned on that investment and use it for your next investment.

Spend wisely
As easy as this may sound many people, particularly young people do not realize how extravagant some of their spending is. Ever hear of “shopaholics?” It isn’t just a cute term for silly teenage girls spending daddy’s money; it is a nation-wide epidemic that has torn up homes and families with increased debt. Although a truly obsessed person would need to seek professional help the interns can offer some helpful tips.

1. Labels are not that important. Tell yourself this everyday. Ask yourself, “Do I want this because I like it or because it has a brand name label on it?”
2. Work on a budget. Before you step foot outside your door, decide how much you are willing to spend and stick to it at all costs – even if it means leaving some money at home to control yourself.
3. Some things are too expensive. Reflect on this and define your own meaning of “too much” and “just right.” Here at the Interns’ Outlook, Greta will not spend more then $69.00 on a pair of jeans while Becky limits herself to $49.
4. Don’t go shopping because there is nothing else to do. If you are bored, try some arts and crafts or exercise but do not go to the mall. Train yourself only to go to the mall when you need to buy something.

Learn to develop your taste for money saving. Just like one can become addicted to spending, saving is also addicting. Get a bank account so instead of cashing your checks deposit them. A person under 18 can get a joint account with a parent so don’t let that hold you back.

For example, before having a checking account I would cash my checks from work at one of those money stores and spend the 300 some odd dollars right away. My bank account has really helped me control and take notice of my spending.

Credit cards

Some say America runs on them, that’s fine, but don’t live off them. A simple rule for economics, do not spend more than you make. First of all, one or two cards is understandable, so limit yourself. Don’t apply for every card that comes in the mail or is offered to you by department store employees. It’s harder to keep track of six cards than it is two. Next, if you do apply for one, consider it carefully. Be aware of the interest rate and any late fees. Remember your credit history stays with you. Lastly, be careful. Identity theft is real so cut up all your documents or store them somewhere safe.

0 0 631 01 June, 2004 Advice, Columns, Uncategorized June 1, 2004

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