Save money during the holiday season

Be Cash Smart gives students tips on how to use their resources wisely.


Marika Adamopoulos

Dani De Phillips, program intern and senior communication major talks about how Be Cash Smart gives students tips on how to use their resources wisely. | Jovita Wattimena/THE CHIMES

Becky Mitchell, Writer

Though students feel the need to buy all the pumpkin and peppermint flavored items in town, the Be Cash Smart program is ready to give tips on how to save money.

Using Money Well

The program is part of the accounting office and is available to help students learn how to take control of their finances. Students are also provided with tips on how to budget well, know about their loans and learn about credit.

“The vision of Be Cash Smart is [to have] students use their money for God’s glory,” said Dani De Phillips, program intern and senior communication major. “In line with the vision of Biola we want students to use their money ethically…and with that is learning how do I save, how do I spend [and] how do I give well?”

Helping Now and in the Future

Even though making sure to budget well seems like a “grown-up” concept, the habits the program teaches will help students now and in the future.

“I think [a helpful tip would be] trying to figure out how to budget out what holidays you can go home for and also budgeting out transportation,” said Lauren Morford, freshman English major.

Importance of Budgeting

It is important for students to budget so they can decide if they will go home for the holidays and have the resources to buy presents or special holidays items.

“I think being able to separate wants from needs…instead of overspending [since speciality items] only [come] once a year,” De Phillips said. “But how many years [has it come around,] we’ve been alive 18-21 years and you know it’s come every 18 years.”

Use Your Resources

One of the ways the Be Cash Smart program recommends students learn how to differentiate wants from needs in the holiday season is to use the resources, however big or small they may be, that we have — including the Internet.

“There’s a lot of DIY things and websites like Pinterest [that] are super popular or even Google ‘how do I make this by hand or cheap ways to make this,’” De Phillips said. “Being able to utilize the Internet as a resource because…it’s so incredibly accessible to us.”

Weekly Advice

By using resources carefully and thoughtfully students have the opportunity to give to others for the holidays, even if that present is simply a craft made from an idea off Pinterest or an item from Amazon. Throughout the holiday season the program will continue to have their table out every week and have financial sessions with residence life students.

“As we approach the holiday season to promote…we’ll have things advertised at the table and probably post a little bit more on the Facebook page,” De Phillips said.

The table is out every Tuesday or Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. by the bells, and by bringing the correct answer to the question from the Facebook page you are entered into a drawing to win a cash prize — which could be helpful for resourceful buying or making presents this Christmas.

Learning a Lot

“Even with such a small impact, it’s not like we’re impacting, you know, a ton of students, but the students who do come to the table and are actively participating are learning a lot,” De Phillips said. “It’s cool to be able to see that students are utilizing this resource and [that] they want to learn, which is really encouraging.”

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