College of Business launches first episode of its new Financial Literacy Radio Show
December 9, 2020
POCATELLO – The first episode of the Idaho State University College of Business’s Financial Literacy Radio Show aired on Thursday, Dec. 3. The show is hosted by finance professor and College of Business alumnus, Chris Chatwin. During the first episode, Chatwin interviewed alumnus and chief executive officer of ISU Federal Credit Union, Doug Chambers.
The show was created to build awareness of and educate listeners about everyday financial issues beginning with the basics. The show hosts a new guest each month to discuss topics such as insurance, tax, banking and more- all tying in closely with the Financial Literacy Certificate newly offered at the College. The show airs on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. on KISU-FM 91.1 in Pocatello, 91.3 in Idaho Falls and 88.1 in the Upper Valley.
In this first episode, Chambers and Chatwin discussed why finances seem to be such a taboo topic in general and why they aren’t taught enough in schools. “Budgeting, financial literacy, how to make your money work for you is not talked about enough,” said Chambers in the episode. “People simply do not talk about their finances. We seem to rank each other based on our budget so I think people get embarrassed about what their budget is.”
Chatwin said that to some, it may feel like a budget is restricting them from enjoying their money. “Budgets can actually free people from financial stress,” said Chatwin. “I tell my students, if there is something you love, don’t deprive yourself of that. Rather, have a plan and know how much you are willing and able to spend on that.” Chatwin said you actually lose your financial freedom when you don’t track your spending and overspend.
Chambers noted that when it comes to advising on personal finances and budgeting, the first step in freeing up money is not to make more but to start with fixed costs and determine how those can be consolidated or made more efficient. The next step is to look at your variable costs, things like getting coffees or sodas- non-essential costs that are more manageably reduced or dispersed. “The very last thing is looking at how you can make more money, this is the last thing on the list,” said Chambers. “You will actually get a much bigger raise by watching fixed costs and lowering variable costs, this is the best way to break down your costs for any individual or business.”
Chatwin and Chambers discussed the power of creating these new habits in a way that works for you, whether this is creating a spreadsheet or physically writing down what you make and what you spend. Chambers told the story of a customer he helped earlier in his career who was spending more each month than he made. Chambers helped the customer to develop a budget and within about four years he was debt free. “He got so addicted to adhering to his budget, that he found other ways to put money toward his debt, without making more money,” said Chambers. “He told me that I had changed his life simply by helping him to budget and manage his money.”
Through the show and these types of discussions, Chatwin noted that it is his goal to help raise the understanding of finances “so this topic doesn’t have to be taboo.”