Faculty member’s planner to promote student financial literacy



Andrea De Fraga’s Evolve Planner is designed to help students organize their schedules and finances by tracking their yearly, monthly and weekly goals and spending.  

By Campus Reporter

Recognizing the financial issues students face throughout their college careers, Andrea De Fraga, a professor in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department, is raising funds to produce a planner to assist students with managing scheduling and finances.

A fundraising initiative for the Evolve Planner’s production costs started Oct. 27 on Kickstarter and has since raised almost $7,000. Those who pledge $25 or more will receive a 2017 planner after the end of the fundraising term. The planner will also be available for purchase at Shopify.com.

The planner, which comes in red and black, is divided into yearly, monthly and daily sections, with financial planning segments throughout. With the same type of “smyth sewn” binding used in art books, the planner also has a section for long-term goals which users can consult when scheduling their day-to-day plans.

“The benefit [of using a planner] is that it is more than just budgeting: It’s learning how to manage your money and managing your resources to get you where you want to go,” De Fraga said. “It is thinking about money as a tool—not necessarily a good or bad thing—just as a tool that is in your life that you need to use.”

De Fraga said she came up with the idea for the planner after realizing many students in her business classes did not keep a physical copy of their personal budgets or finances. Keeping track of spending is sometimes difficult for students because they are trying to find the balance between long- and short-term spending for the first time, according to De Fraga.

Christine Tvedt, assistant director of Student Financial Services, said students, some of whom attended public schools and did not have to pay for tuition, have never had to deal with the large expenses that come with attending college, and the adjustment can be difficult.

“A lot of students are working full-time, but a lot of students are working part-time,” Tvedt said. “So they are trying to stretch that dollar as far as possible, and writing it down has been found to be the best way to keep track of where the money is going.”

Jason Stephens, a lecturer in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department, supported De Fraga’s project by donating $1,000. As a result of the significant contribution, De Fraga will be donating 50 planners to a nonprofit group that offers resources to young mothers and single parents, called Parenthesis.

“There are so many [students] who don’t have the opportunity to learn good finances unless they study business,” Stephens said. “I don’t think it is common in our educational system to learn basic finance and budgeting skills.”

De Fraga said she plans on creating more products like the Evolve Planner that will assist people with financial literacy.

“We have two big resources in our lives, we have our time and we have our money,” De Fraga said. “So putting them together allows you to really understand where you are putting these resources and if those resources going toward your life goals.”