The Towerlight’$ Financial Guide: Q&A with PNC manager
As economic conditions in America continue to get tighter and tighter, everyone is strapped for cash, especially college students.
The Towerlight sat down with Kathryn Jacksits, the branch manager of the PNC Bank in the University Union to find out how college students can save their money and spend wisely.
How can students best budget their money?
Say you are going somewhere with your girlfriends on a shopping spree and mom and dad gave you some money or you had some money from working and you wanted to take that [money] to use for that [shopping]. You would stick that [money] in there [savings account] because you wouldn’t want to put it into your spending account because more than likely, you’re going to spend it. But then you don’t want to put it into your [savings] account because you’re not really saving it for long term. You’re saving it just for a weekend. Sometimes people don’t know how much they’re spending on certain things. They’re just constantly swiping their card, not paying attention. You can say, ‘Wow, I’m really spending a lot of money in extra food than I should be. Maybe I should just stick to my meal plan because I’m spending over a hundred dollars a month in food.’ You might not realize that, but you’re swiping it every time you go to Paws. Budgeting is very important. You really have to put something down on paper and say this is how much I need for the end of the year.
What are some good ways to make sure you have money
A lot of students work and they have direct deposit. I recommend anyone to do this, not only students. You take a certain amount out of your check. You could do it weekly, biweekly, however often you want, and we transfer it over to your savings account. For example, when I first started working at the bank, I took $10 out and put it into my savings account, and I did it every other week because I was young and that was a lot of money to me. And then you learn to budget without that money. You have to think in your mind that your savings account isn’t there—out of sight out of mind. And then you transfer that money and by the time you know it, you’ve built up a savings account. I think that not overspending will help students save. I think every little bit helps to put away into your savings account. I see a lot of students who come in and don’t know how to do the basic stuff. They don’t know how to write a check or do a deposit slip, and I think that hurts them. I think it’s something that should be taught in the school system either junior or senior year so that when they get to college they know a little bit about what to do as far as coming here.
A lot of students come here and it’s like, “Oh I’m free, mom and dad aren’t here.” And they don’t know how to manage.
How does mobile banking help college students?
Mobile banking is huge. You can do pretty much anything online. Say I have an account and you have an account somewhere else, and I owe you $20 because you paid for me to go get pizza or whatever, and you’re not comfortable with giving me you’re account number because we barely know each other. As long as I have your email address, I could go right online and send you money. If you wanted to give me your bank information, then I could also transfer your money to let’s just say Sun Trust or Bank of America. As long as our customers have a smartphone or an iPhone, they can take a picture of the check with their phone, so they don’t have to come to the bank. You have to hold it for a couple of days and then you just have to destroy it. And write on the back for mobile deposit only. You have to take a picture of the front and the back. Our ATMs actually do anything. So if you want to cash your check at the ATM, you can do anything. We’re only here 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, so during the evenings or on the weekends, students can do anything at those ATMs. They can change pin numbers, get statements, cash checks, and make cash deposits. Say you made a $500 cash deposit, that $500 is going to be available to you right away, so you have easy access to everything.
What do you recommend for students who don’t know how to manage their bank accounts?
A lot of students come in for student loans. They want to know how to get a loan. Credit cards are also a big one. We’re not allowed to discuss credit cards on campus so we really don’t touch on that. Again, we will provide financial seminars and we’ll touch on credit and we’ll talk about credit cards and how credit affects you. Those are the main things they come in here for, and to do their everyday activities. But a lot of it is credit cards and student loans.
–Compiled by Dana Kobilinsky