Experts Teach Money Management

Photo illistration by Noa Schabes ’17.

Students benefited last week from hearing about responsible financial planning from two outside experts.

Aaron Spelker, a financial analyst at Boston Wealth Management, spent four days in Ted Barker-Hook’s AP Microeconomics class. “The most important thing is to realize that your money management starts right away,” he said. Saving for retirement should start as early as possible, he says, and students should avoid turning 40 or 50 without any money saved.

“Mr. Spelker got me thinking about how I have to be more prudent with my money during my first paid job,” Sam Ravina ‘17 said. “I thought it was interesting how seemingly small decisions can make a huge difference in the long run.”

Shauna Pendleton, a representative from Santander Bank, also addressed seniors about credit cards and banking. She emphasized the importance of building up one’s credit score, especially before thinking about buying a house. Individuals can build credit, Pendleton explained, by receiving and paying back loans, getting a credit card and paying off debt without accruing interest, and making payments on time.

Pendleton also explained the difference between debit and credit cards, with the former limited to the money available in one’s checking account. This makes it easier to avoid penalties or late fees, while encouraging individuals to remain within budget.

But credit card holders can also opt out, Pendleton explained, meaning that transactions will be declined once a desired limit is hit. To guard against overpayment, and to ensure that consumers pay attention to changes in fees, she also suggested not to enroll in auto-pay options.

People between 18-26 are most likely targeted for identity theft, Pendleton said, stressing the importance of avoiding scams and keeping financial information secure.

As many students take on summer jobs, keep Pendleton and Spelker’s advice in mind.