Students learn to get out of debt, manage money in budgeting talk


Students learned practical tips on how to manage finances and get out of debt in a talk given at the International Lounge the evening of Nov. 14. 

Matthew Heaps, a former host of one of the Dave Ramsey programs at Franciscan University of Steubenville, gave the audience some practical pointers on managing money.  

“A lot of times, we make money, and then, all of a sudden, the money is gone. … So, one of the key things we want you to (take away) tonight is that it’s so important to have a plan,” Heaps said.  

Heaps showed clips from the “Financial Peace University” course by Dave Ramsey, which introduced students to a seven-step guide to help with financial success.  

In the video, Dave Ramsey encouraged having a mentality that views saving as good.  

“Normal is broke. Be weird,” said Ramsey in the video. 

The steps presented in the video were: 1) start a $500 emergency fund for rainy days; 2) pay off all debt, starting with the smallest and ending with the largest; 3) save three-to-six months’ worth of emergency funds; 4) invest 15% of your household income in retirement; 5) save for children’s college fund; 6) pay off your home early; and 7) build wealth and give. 

Heaps focused on the first two steps to guide students in their own financial journey. 

“It’s a lot,” Heaps said. “Realize where you’re at, and then … just start paying it down, and it will happen.  

Heaps talked about his own financial journey and said that though it was difficult at first, it was well worth it in the end; although it is a slow process, it does work. 

In addition to this, Heaps said it is important to budget spending money so that, even when you are paying off debt, you don’t feel trapped and still get to have fun.  

Heaps ended the night by saying, “When you get everything payed off, you build wealth and then give wealth away.” 

“It was very informational,” said Kristofer Cowles, a freshman. “I am really looking forward to having financial peace in my future.”