St. Joseph’s College graduates Barbara Yelcich and Kevin Cantwell provided profound insight on money management to the College community during SJC’s “Money Matters” webinar last month.
Yelcich earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and then went on to obtain a master’s degree in international financing. She works at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and has over 30 years of experience supervising large bank institutions.
Cantwell earned a bachelor’s from St. Joseph’s in 2011 for business and a master’s in 2013 in accounting. He is a certified financial planner, and chief operating officer at Mutual, Inc.
With their extensive backgrounds in the financial field, the two alums emphasized the importance of setting aside money for your future.
“Good financial planning isn’t just about the numbers, it’s really about getting control over your financial matters,” Yelcich said, “so you could stop fretting about cash, and focus on what’s most important in your life.”
Yelcich’s main topic during the webinar — organized as part of the Office of Alumni Engagement’s SJCNY Connect program — was budgeting and managing your income.
“It’s important to set goals. Because when you meet your goals, you feel like you’ve achieved some success,” she said. “Most importantly, if you establish them early enough, they will help you pace yourself so that you achieve your financial dreams without a lot of angst and unnecessary sweat.”
Yelcich talked about how to budget accordingly, noting that people should track how much money they make versus how much they spend, and decipher between wants and needs.
Cantwell discussed the importance of planning long term, and the power of starting young.
“You really need to learn to live within your means. My rule is 80:20. You live on 80% of your income, and you save 20%,” he said. “You’re going to go through different phases in your life that will make this important.”
Cantwell acknowledged it may be difficult to achieve the 80-20 split, while stressing that discomfort in the beginning is normal and will pay off.
“The sooner you start any goal, the better off you’ll be long term. Pay yourself first,” he said.
At the start of the seminar a poll was taken among the participants, asking: “Do you feel prepared financially?” No one at the virtual event responded “yes.”
However, as the seminar concluded, the same question was asked, and almost every person re-answered this question “yes.” One participant answered “maybe.”
With the help of SJCNY Connect, SJC alumni connect with each other to share their professional networks, and act as mentors for students, as well as each other.