FINANCIAL GAINPublished 5:27pm Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Students learn the dos and don’ts of lending
Students at Pike County High School who plan to make their way in the business world received good, sound advice from two young men who know how it’s done.
Ben Wallace and Daniel Tew, CPAs with Jackson & Thornton, spoke to members of the Business and Finance Academy and the Future Business Leaders of America at Pike County High School Wednesday.
Sharon Denison, Academy director, said the presentation was a feature of Alabama Society of CPAs’ Classroom Blitz program, which, annually, focuses on a segment of the business industry. This year’s topic “Borrow – Use, Don’t Abuse,” is part of the National Endowment for Financial Education curriculum.
Wallace and Tew told the students that establishing a good credit rating is essential to borrowing money. But establishing a good credit rating doesn’t have to wait until they are members of the workforce.
A savings account may be opened at most banks with a minimum of $25-$50.
“Open a savings account and put whatever amount you can in it on a regular basis,” Tew said. “That way, you get in the habit of saving and also have an established bank account.”
Most banks require a minimum of $100 to open a checking account and Wallace said that, once a checking account is opened, it is important to maintain it.
“Credit cards are good ways to establish a credit rating but don’t go overboard,” he said. “Put small amounts on the credit card and pay off the credit card each month. Don’t be late with your payments. Pay ahead. That way you can build a good credit rating.”
The students questioned Wallace and Tew as to whether employers prefer hiring graduates of the larger universities.
Tew said employees at Jackson & Thornton come from both small and large universities, including Auburn, Alabama, Troy, AUM and Wallace College.
“Employers are looking for the best of the best,” Wallace said. “And, when you are employed, work hard. Be a part of the team but also stand apart by going the extra mile.”
Wallace said it is important for employees to carry their weight.
“Go in every day and work hard,” he said. “Make yourself a valuable employee. Don’t just do what is expected of you. Do more. That’s job security.”
Tew said going the extra mile at work doesn’t mean that one can’t maintain balance in life.
Working an extra 30 minutes is not a lot of extra time but it could be enough to “set you apart,” he said.
Wallace said that working hard and going above and beyond pays huge dividends later.
“Those who aren’t willing to do that will, look back in 10 years, and wish they had,” he said. “You never know when hard work is going to pay off. It could be when you least expect it. But, when it pays off, it usually pays big.”