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Budget project teaches principles to young adults

20160217-budget-project-002Jarrod Markarian

FC teacher Robert Foshee instructed his economics class a valuable lesson on budgeting and spending.

High school is finished, no classes all summer, and graduated students are mostly happy to live on their own. But it may not be all sunshine and rainbows afterwards. Most students do not realize that the stuff that they were provided with at home will not stay with them. It comes at a price. Perhaps, one of the hardest things to manage in college is how much money to spend and how much to keep.

Most students are excited to graduate high school, but often not prepared for the reality ahead of them. They become so focused on the freedom of living on their own, when really they need money for those things. And money does not always come easy.

There are many places to go to in order to make money to live on their own. College students usually work at regular food chains around their town such as Starbucks, McDonalds, and Burger King. Students make about $10 an hour and often work 10-15 hours a week.

Most know what money is, but do they all know how to use it? Money may be conceived as a significant struggle in our society with over 20% of children in America under 18 living in poverty.  Many of them have not had a proper education. Many students over 18 have never even gone to college because of how expensive it is or they never got a scholarship.

Tyler Revis, a Fresno Christian graduate, attended junior college in the Central Valley for three years. He then transferred to Fresno Pacific University for two years and finished his undergraduate degree. He is currently attending Fresno Pacific in the credential program to become a teacher.

Revis earned various scholarships from grades and coaching basketball at Fresno Pacific. He earned money tutoring, coaching and working short term jobs and lived on campus at FPU, which helped with money because of built-in meal plans.

This is a project that helps to illustrate that in life resources are limited. This includes money, time, and resources.  Because of this, we have to make choices no matter how much money we make.  In this project, students realize that with a plan and a budget they can optimize things that might be scarce and be good stewards with these things. –Robert Foshee, economics teacher who offers a budget project in the spring

Revis says campus jobs offer simple opportunities for students to earn extra income.

“When I was in college I searched for opportunities to make some money by being available and doing each job to the best of my abilities,” Revis said. “I think the best way for college students to earn money is to get a job on campus. It is important to keep a flexible schedule, because classes can be demanding. This can be something as simple as house sitting, or more rigorous like coaching or school.

However, Revis became more stressed about his own budget after college. He did not get paid from student teaching, so he lived off of what he earned from coaching. To keep and save the little money that he made, Revis made a budget for himself.

He started every month with a full tank of gas and rent paid. Afterwards he anticipated filling up his tank once a week, checking to see if there was any car maintenance that may needed to be paid for, and allocate the amount of money he could spend on eating out.

Revis encourages students to inspect the various scholarships and financial aid offered in order to become better prepared for the expenses of college.

20160217-budget-project-001Jarrod Markarian

The students were given a $1,300 monthly salary and were required to construct a budget which thoroughly covered all facets of independent life.

“I think that students who feel financially strapped should look at Cal Grants and Pel Grants and the litany of scholarships out there,” Revis said. “Financial aid is a great resource if you know where to look. At FPU they have counselors that are readily available and will seek to help in every opportunity they have.”

The senior economics class recently finished a budget project that holds the power to influence their future lives. Each group was allotted $1300 to spend on housing, food, and the essentials. This project helps students realize how much money they need for things and how to spend it wisely.

Robert Foshee teaches the economics class. He decided to assign this project to his students because it gives them a glimpse of real world decisions and what it’s like to raise themselves. When Foshee was younger and just married, he had to learn to live on $600 a month. He lived in an apartment, had to borrow a car, and needed to go grocery shopping once a week. But that experience definitely taught him to plan out his resources.

“This is a project that helps to illustrate that in life resources are limited,” Foshee said. “This includes money, time, and resources.  Because of this, we have to make choices no matter how much money we make.  In this project, students realize that with a plan and a budget they can optimize things that might be scarce and be good stewards with these things.”

One of the hardest things for people was to find housing that was affordable. Brittany Bender, ’16, got an apartment and shared it with seniors Josiah Weimer and Tyler Sellers.

“The budget project is something we do in economics where we deal with money in real life situations,” Bender said. “We were told to get apartments and we could share them if we wanted. I liked this project because it showed me how much money everything costs in the real world and certain things I would have to sacrifice.”

Many different websites show what students can do to earn money and/or how to live on a reasonable budget. For more info on colleges, contact Michelle Warkentin at mwarkentin@fresnochristian.com.

For another features article read Student visits, examines local Legion of Valor museum.

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