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If you go

What: All about credit, CU Money Sense workshop

When: May 25, 2 to 3 p.m.

Where: UMC, room 425


As the first week of summer break comes to a close, University of Colorado students are switching gears from budgeting their time, to budgeting their finances.

During the semester, time management is key to balancing classes, jobs, homework and a social life. But during the summer, students are taking a closer look at their bank accounts in hopes of saving some cash to help get them through the next school year.

CU student Alex Madden, who will be a junior in the fall, said he is picking up some extra work painting houses this summer to try to meet his savings goal of $5,000.

“I know I need to start saving up for the fall because I won’t be able to work as much during the semester,” Madden said.

Madden said his bills remain the same all year. But with more time to work in the summer, he’s hoping to make enough to cover his textbook costs and some tuition for the fall.

But when there’s more money coming in, Madden said it can be difficult to save.

“In the summer there’s more money to blow, so I try to keep a goal in mind so I know what I need to adjust,” Madden said. “But I do splurge a little too, and try to enjoy my time off.”

Jenny Stockton, instructor for CU Money Sense — a financial literacy program offered through financial aid and the bursar’s office — said it’s not a bad thing to spend a little more if the money is available.

“Everyone is comfortable with different spending habits,” Stockton said. “That’s your decision to make, so do what you want with your money.”

But Stockton warns while the occasional treat doesn’t hurt, they key is to wait until you actually have the extra money to spend it.

“Putting it all on a credit card can be dangerous,” Stockton said. “Don’t spend it until you have it to spend.”

Stockton said for many students, summer budgeting is about thinking ahead to the next school year and finding your financial comfort zone.

CU senior Sophie Levis is going in the opposite direction of most students. She is adjusting her budget for less money this summer than what she brought in during the school year.

“My parents support me when I’m in school, but I’m not in school this summer,” Levis said. “So I’m on my own,”

Levis is working in a lab this summer, but the inconsistent hours make it difficult to create a budget.

“I pay my bills first and then spend what I need to,” Levis said. “Then a few days before the month is up, I’ll either splurge and eat out a few times, if I have a little extra. Or, I’ll have to go to the grocery store to try to make whatever I have left last until another paycheck.”

CU senior Tim McArthur is also tightening his wallet this summer, with a little help from CU Money Sense.

McArthur attended a money management workshop Thursday to help him better prioritize his spending habits.

“I learned I need to think twice about what I’m buying and ask myself if I really need that,” McArthur said. “I think this will help me think in the long term.”

McArthur said student loans help him survive financially during the school year, but those aren’t there to help in the summer

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