Gamecocks get financial literacy lessons at latest Beyond Sports event

Student-athletes in South Carolina got a few lessons on how to manage their money on Monday as Founders Federal Credit Union provided financial education through the Beyond Sports professional development program and department summer internships. athletics. Financial Education and Business Development Manager Felicia Pope spoke to Gamecocks about budgets, building credit, buying a home and other financial topics.

“What you do today determines everything you do tomorrow,” Pope said. “Be mindful of the decisions you make and the choices you make with your money. When it comes to a budget, you need to give it structure and direction.”

Pope stressed the importance of basic skills such as balancing a checking account and the dangers of racking up debt on credit cards.

“Some people don’t like to write down their finances because they’re busy, but you can lose track of everything,” Pope said. “Write everything down. Expenses are tricky because sometimes you don’t see them.”

“It really gives you food for thought for the future.”
-Sean McGonigal

She encouraged Gamecocks to look at the little things that can affect their budget, including buying expensive coffees every day or forgetting about automatic payments. She also suggested that they start looking at their own spending over an extended period, perhaps three months, to gather their own historical data on their spending habits and create an accurate budget.

Gatlin Lawson

“I learned that I needed to put more money aside,” said Gatlin Lawson, a rising senior on the track team. “You feel all excited when you get it, but you have to buckle up and save. I guess what scares me the most for the future is taxes, so I need to know more on this subject.”

“I had a bit of knowledge about credit and budgeting, but this really broke things down for me and went into great detail,” said Cam Dixon, a rising senior for the women’s soccer team. “It allowed me to re-evaluate how I spend my own money. As student-athletes, we get checks for things like housing and living costs, so we had a little built in experience in how to budget but I think it could be better so it was very beneficial She presented it in a less scary way than I thought.

“I really liked the financial planning part and how to budget,” said Sean McGonigal, a former football team member who is graduating this summer. “When you write everything down, you can have a better picture instead of just trying to think about it.”

While the lessons now apply to student-athletes, they are even more important when they graduate and have to pay more bills on their own. Pope went into great detail on what to look for when applying for a job, including salary as well as other benefits that don’t show up in your salary, such as childcare or car allowances. which can save them money. The Gamecocks also received training on their credit score as well as the home buying process.

“I think it will help since I will be graduating soon and will have to be on my own,” Dixon said. “It will definitely help me in the future.”

“Before that I would say I was two out of ten (in financial literacy), now I feel like I’m five or six,” McGonigal said. “It really gives you food for thought for the future. You’re always worried about your increased expenses, so it’s been really helpful.”