Q-and-A: Teacher talks fiscal responsibility
John Lopez, C.T. Bauer College of Business finance clinical assistant professor, weighs in on some crucial suggestions and recommendations in order to stay debt-free while shopping this holiday season.
The Daily Cougar: What are your recommendations for those who are trying to stay debt-free this holiday season?
John Lopez: Decide on the amount of money you wish to spend on Christmas gifts. Make a list of the people you plan to give gifts — make it written — and put a number that you will spend for each person. Look at the total and if the amount exceeds your budget make adjustments.
TDC: What would you recommend to keep bills from piling up?
JL: Keep a list for three weeks on everything you spend money on. Look at the list and see where your money is going.
TDC: Why are so many people in today’s society struggling with debt during holiday seasons?
JL: They don’t have a clear plan; they just wing it and hope for the best.
TDC: What courses of action do you recommend people to do in order to plan for the unexpected? Meaning, how can people avoid future debts?
JL: The biggest single thing you need is to have an emergency savings fund. This account should have about three months of living expenses. Don’t touch it — it’s for emergencies.
TDC: What has been the best advice on remaining debt-free someone has given to you that you’ve passed on to someone else?
JL: Have an emergency fund. Once this is established, emergencies stop happening. It keeps you out of having to get into debt to address emergency expenditures.