Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Guest post by Sarah Dunbar ’16

My favorite thing about campus is walking through the park blocks during autumn. Seeing the colorful leaves falling to the ground, feeling the crisp air flowing through the jacket I thought was going to be warm enough, and the ever lingering question of whether I have time to stop and grab coffee before class. That last question is often followed by another lingering thought – can I even afford coffee today?

With this being my last Fall term at Portland State I have begun thinking more about my future and where I will be one year from now. What kinds of things will I be doing, thinking about, worrying about one year from now as a working professional? The first thing that came to mind – my finances. Will I be making enough to start paying off my student loans? Will I be financially stable enough to fully support myself without any financial aid? These questions and fears have motivated me to be proactive and take the advice I wrote about in my last blog post.

With graduation around the corner I am making the commitment to prepare myself and my financial situation as much as possible for the post-college reality that awaits. I challenge you to do the same! Regardless of how far away you are from graduation it’s never too early to start preparing for the future.

Over the next seven months I will:

Prepare and stick to a monthly budget (that incorporates a savings plan)

Build my emergency fund (as a component of savings on my budget)

Develop my student loan payment plan

Put my first $250 savings into an investment vehicle

Sarah's $5 ChallengeTo add some fun to this personal finance journey, I am committing to the $5 challenge. Every time I find myself with a $5 bill I am going to save it. This collection of $5 bills will be the foundation for my investment fund. I’ll post updates in my future blog posts and on Instagram.

This is my challenge for myself, but I encourage everyone to start at least one financially beneficial habit that will challenge you!

Follow my journey on this Blog and tag us @pdxBschool on Instagram to share your journey.

If I have learned anything from my time with the School of Business, it’s that there is no shortage of resources available to us as students. In order to jumpstart this new challenge, I am committing to attending at least two of the events during Financial Literacy week. I hope to see many of you there!

~ Sarah Dunbar ’16, Fearless Senior

Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer www.craigmitchelldyer.com 503.513.0550Sarah Dunbar is a senior business student majoring in Accounting. She is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the Accounting and Finance Honor Society and a Peer Advisor in the School of Business Undergraduate Office.


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  1. Jan

    Thank you for the great post. I am in the same situation. This is my last year at PSU SBA. Feel free to reach out I would love to hear more and maybe start my own financial plan. Kudos!

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