By Ashley Alford
Student athletes may find themselves in a position where they’re making more money than ever before, dealing with complex financial decisions, and facing potential pitfalls if they lack the knowledge to make informed choices. By understanding the basics of personal finance, budgeting, investing, and taxes, college athletes safeguard their financial well-being and lay the groundwork for a secure future beyond their athletic careers.
Seek Financial Education: Seeking financial education is a wise decision for college athletes who want to enhance their financial literacy and make informed financial decisions. Take advantage of financial education resources offered by your college, athletic department, or external organizations. Attend workshops, seminars, or online courses that cover topics such as budgeting, investing, debt management, and financial planning.
Some examples of financial education resources include:
1. College Resources: Many colleges and universities offer financial literacy programs and resources for students. These may include workshops, seminars, or courses specifically designed to educate students about personal finance. Check with your college’s student services, financial aid office, or career development center to inquire about any financial education initiatives they offer.
2. Athletic Department Support: Reach out to your athletic department or student-athlete support services to inquire about financial education programs tailored specifically for student-athletes. Some athletic departments collaborate with financial professionals or organizations to provide workshops or one-on-one financial coaching sessions. They may cover topics such as budgeting, managing scholarships and stipends, and planning for post-athletic careers.
3. External Organizations: Look for external organizations that focus on financial education and literacy. These organizations often conduct workshops or provide online resources to help individuals improve their financial knowledge. Examples include:
- Nonprofit organizations: Nonprofits like Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) provide resources and tools to improve financial literacy among young adults.
- Financial institutions: Banks and credit unions occasionally host financial education events or workshops to promote financial literacy. Check with local branches or their websites for any upcoming events.
- Online platforms and courses: Numerous online platforms offer free or paid courses and resources on personal finance. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, or Khan Academy provide a wide range of courses covering topics such as budgeting, investing, and financial planning.
- Personal finance blogs and podcasts: Explore reputable personal finance blogs or listen to financial podcasts for valuable insights and practical tips from experts in the field. Examples include The Penny Hoarder, NerdWallet, and the “ChooseFI” podcast.
4. Community Events: Stay updated on community events, seminars, or workshops related to personal finance. Local libraries, community centers, or financial institutions often organize these events to promote financial literacy within the community.
5. Professional Financial Advisors: If you have complex financial situations or specific financial goals, seeking advice from a certified financial planner (CFP) or financial advisor can be beneficial. They can provide personalized guidance, help you create a comprehensive financial plan, and address any concerns or questions you may have.
Remember, financial education is an ongoing process. Continuously seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and stay informed about personal finance best practices. Taking advantage of these resources and events can empower you to make sound financial decisions, establish good money management habits, and build a solid foundation for your financial future.
Consider Professional Advice: Some athletes who are making high-5 or even 6-figures annually could consider engaging a certified financial planner or advisor who specializes in working with athletes. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific financial goals, help manage investments, and develop a comprehensive financial plan.
Financial literacy is crucial for college athletes as they navigate the unique landscape of collegiate sports and manage their financial well-being. By understanding the basics of personal finance, budgeting, investing, and taxes, athletes can make informed choices, safeguard their earnings, and lay the groundwork for long-term financial stability.