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Project aims to help students make the most of their money

Math major Jacob Chrysler focused his senior honors project on educating university students on the importance of budgeting.

Chrysler has spent the past year researching students’ current knowledge of financial planning and brainstorming ways to increase their awareness. His goal was to create a successful process to inform students about the importance of budgeting while giving them tools to create their own personal budget.

To do this, Chrysler created an Excel spreadsheet to help users formulate a workable budget based on their individual income and expenses.

Chrysler hopes to distribute a copy of this Excel spreadsheet to current and future students of MVNU through the Portal or Moodle websites.

He is also talking with MVNU Admissions about promoting this resource to incoming freshmen to prepare them for a life that is financially stable.

Chrysler completed a paper survey last spring and received over 260 results. One of the questions asked participants if they used a personal budgeting system.

“The number was actually surprisingly high. Seventy-five percent said they used a budget,” Chrysler said.

However, after speaking to various participants, Chrysler realized “a budget” meant something completely different for each student.

“I discovered that for most people using a budget just means keeping track in your head. That’s not really a budget,” Chrysler said.

Chrysler’s minor in financial planning has helped him pull the specifics of the project together. He said his personal experience and academic background made him realize the importance of having a budget.

“It’s about helping people make wise plans and decisions with their money so they can do the things they really want to do,” Chrysler said.

In his research, Chrysler discovered that spending money has become easier and easier over the years. People can spend money without even thinking about it, and sometimes without realizing it, said Chrysler.

“How can you stay disciplined when society has you set up to fail?” Chrysler asked.

Chrysler said it is vital for everyone — and especially college students — to implement a budget into their lifestyle. If you practice budgeting as a college student — when you don’t have a lot of money — then when you do get that first paycheck, you know what to do with it, said Chrysler.

A budget does not restrict fun or cheerful giving, he insisted. Instead, it provides for it.

“Jesus talks about how he wants cheerful givers, not guilty givers,” Chrysler said. “If we are aware of where our money is and how much we have, what our responsibilities are, then we can be.

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