Ralph Hernandez, Class of 2018


Q: How do you define financial literacy, and what topics interest you most?

A: Financial literacy is a skill set that helps individuals make informed and proper decisions regarding their finances. As of now, the topics that I enjoy learning regarding this area is student loan and credit management.


Q:  What is your personal money philosophy?

A: A “money philosophy” that I learned from my parents is, “Don’t spend money that you do not have.” At face value this a simple concept however to actually execute it requires self-discipline. For me it is about reflecting on what you really need versus what you really want.


Q: Do you keep a budget? Why or why not?

A: I have a budget that I monitor and I frequently check to make sure my credit is within range that I am comfortable with. I keep a budget because this ensures that I will have enough funds for things that are necessary in the future.


Q: Did you have exposure to financial literacy when you were growing up?

A: My family and myself are immigrants therefore our financial literacy regarding in the context of U.S. was limited. However, we learned from experience on what works best for us. With the knowledge we learned, we were able to make better decisions.


Q: Have any events at Dickinson inspired you to change your financial habits?

A: At the beginning of my senior year I learned that one of my loan packages was accruing interest-I was not aware of this. I did my own research and I calculated that everyday I was accruing interest of 25 cents for two and a half years. The total interest accumulated was about $225. Luckily, I save some funds from my internship and paid of the interest and principal.


Q: What financial literacy-related advice would you give first year students?

A: I believe first year students should learn to become more proactive with their finances and loans. Credit and debt is how our economy functions therefore I think it is essential to understand how we as individuals play a role.