Max Karrh, University of Alabama alum and local banker, discusses making sound financial decisions as a student with Sheena and John. Original airdate April 01, 2018.
John: Welcome to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone, and we want to welcome you this Easter Sunday afternoon. April Fool’s Day and Easter together, kind of interesting combination. We were talking just a minute ago, Sheena, about how you can put these two holidays together. Are there any other two holidays that can fall on the same day. That’s the question for you.
Sheena: You know, I don’t know. Honestly, I feel a little icky that these two holidays are on the same day, you know?
John: I have a hard time calling April Fool’s Day a holiday.
Sheena: Sure, but, you know, a recognized event, of sorts, and everything else. We’ll see what happens. We still have the rest of this Sunday afternoon for some April’s foolery to happen. Who knows, but hopefully we both got to enjoy time with our families for Easter, and all that good stuff. Now, does your family go all out with Easter Sunday meals and stuff like that?
John: My mom still wants me to hide eggs.
Sheena: Okay. Does she really?
John: Yeah. Yeah, she does. She wants me to run around with a little basket, hiding eggs.
John: So, she’s probably listening to us now, thinking “he’s gonna be hiding eggs in just a little bit.”
Sheena: Well, are there a lot of kids on your or Alisha’s family that are the age where they would be looking for some eggs?
John: There’s nobody that really should be looking for eggs still at this point, but we still do.
Sheena: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John: Yeah, anyway. What about you?
Sheena: You know, which I didn’t get the chance to see my family this time around. They live in the North Alabama area, but it’s funny because typically I would remember us … You know, we’d all go to church and then we’d go over to someone’s house and, for whatever reason, there’s actually a pretty decent Filipino community in Fort Pain and, I will tell you, I would egg hunt with Filipinos all the time because what they would do, instead of putting candy in the plastic eggs. There would be $20 bills, $100 bills and $5 dollar bills.
Sheena: I loved it.
Sheena: Yeah. It was like baller status.
John: There’s got to be a joke in there somewhere, but I don’t know where to go with it.
Sheena: There could be, but I mean I just really loved Easter because of that, so sometimes when I think about candy and eggs I’m like “man, that’s lame. Where’s the $100 bills? Come on.”
John: Let me ask you this. Speaking of Easter, I was thinking earlier about what some of the things we can talk about today.
John: Easter and the Last Supper, being the dietitian that you are, I got to ask you, Sheena’s last supper-
Sheena: What would my last supper-
John: What would your last supper be? I’ve never asked you that before, but if you-
Sheena: Oh, gosh, you know-
John: I hate to put you on the spot.
Sheena: No, no, no, no, no. I mean, a really good rare steak would have to be part of that meal.
John: Is there a particular … I mean, I know we can’t particularly [crosstalk 00:02:55]
Sheena: No and, honestly, some of the best steaks that I’ve had have been made by my husband, and that’s not just me trying to get brownie points with him. Something about just really keeping it simple. I think there are certain restaurants that tend to over-complicate things-
Sheena: So, I don’t know, but maybe I’m just really whipped by my husband and I just love his cooking, so I don’t know. How about you? What component’s in your final meal?
John: Okay. There’s a steakhouse in Dothan. I will go to the steak myself-
Sheena: You’ve told me about that, yes.
John: That would be my first stop, and then I would cleanse my palette with some lime sherbet, and then move on down to Destin to a pizza place that I’ve told you about.
John: And finish my meal off with dessert pizza. Not really dessert pizza, regular pizza, but it would be dessert for my steak.
Sheena: Oh, yeah. No, that pizza place. Yes, I have-
John: If I’m going out, I’m going out kicking, cholesterol, everywhere.
Sheena: Are you going to Destin any time soon?
John: Yes, in the middle of May. My son’s graduating from high school. We’re going on a senior trip. Yeah, mom and dad are going.
Sheena: Well, we’ll be there the 10th through the 15th. We’ll actually be in 30A [inaudible 00:04:06], but we’re driving to Destin for that pizza.
John: You’re close enough to get pizza, yeah.
Sheena: Oh yeah, for sure. We’ll have to coordinate something. Now, I do like their vegetarian pizza. I know, you’re face is like “you’re ruining it.” I do like the stuff with the meat too, but their vegetarian pizza is really-
John: It’s the best pizza ever.
Sheena: It’s good. Gosh, how did we get on pizza? Okay, last supper, all this stuff. Y’all, we have got an amazing show this afternoon.
John: Good show today. Great show today.
Sheena: It is not an April Fool’s Day joke. We are seriously legit about today’s show, and we know it’s gonna be enjoyable. We’ve got a great guest with some fantastic information that I know is really applicable to all of our listeners, but you guys we’ve got to take that first break. You are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone.
Michael: Hi, I’m Michael Kasky. I’m a civil engineering major, and you’re listening to 90.7 the Capstone.
John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone. We want to thank you for spending part of your Easter Sunday afternoon with us here. We’ve got a great guest lined up today. Sheena, you know, we’ve hit a lot of topics over the last few years.
Sheena: For sure.
John: What we always try to do, or what we try to do, is we try to cover that wellness spectrum where we’re hitting everything. I know we spend a lot of time on the physical and emotional, probably more so than anything else, but one of the things that, and I would argue that it’s not necessarily part of the wellness spectrum, but anyway. it’s a very important topic. Dealing with finances and, before everybody changes the station or whatever, we’ve got somebody that can make finances fun today.
Sheena: I agree. I hardly know this guy, and I’m like “okay, let’s do this.” This has been good, so yeah.
John: Yeah, and we’re fortunate today to have Max Carr, who has done some in-services for us over at the Rec Center. He used to actually work for us over at the Rec Center, teaching some spin classes.
Max: You guys. She’s like “no he didn’t.”
Sheena: I’m like, “hey dude. If you can do it, you’re giving me some motivation to do it, so that’s great!”
Max: I was in shape at one time, now I’m a shape and it’s round.
Sheena: Well, it totally … Listeners, he’s lying. He is super cut and you can google search him at some point in time.
John: It is funny, though, if you hear banker, spin instructor. That’s just not a combination.
Max: I taught kickboxing. Remember that?
John: Banker, spin instructor.
Max: Kickboxing, bootcamp.
John: Bootcamp and standup comedian on the side.
Max: And have done some standup, yeah.
Sheena: Okay, okay.
John: Yeah, which is really cool, so we’re gonna ask to speak to the banker personality first-
John: Today. Maybe. I don’t know. We might jump to another personality.
John: If we need a kickboxing instructor, we’ll call him out.
Max: Yeah. They asked me to do that movie Split, and I was like “nah”.
John: It really is such a variety of things that you do, and it’s not like things that you hear are in common. I mean, really, I don’t know that there’s probably another banker in the southeast that teaches any group x classes.
Max: I don’t know of any.
John: Y’all don’t have a club or anything?
John: Max, if you don’t mind, just tell us a little bit. I know you’re from here originally, and I could go on and on about how passionate you are about what you’re gonna talk about today. You know, it’s kinda cool being here with both of you guys. I mean, I enjoy my job a lot, but I see Sheena every week. She’s up bright and early, and she’s going and doing all these talks everywhere, and she’s all over campus, and there’s nobody you can talk to on campus that you say “Sheena” and they don’t start talking about her. They know her from somewhere.
I feel the same way about you. I know she’s super passionate about what she does, or she couldn’t keep the hours that she does, and it’s cool to see you’re the same way. When you start talking about finances … When most people start talking about finances, somebody’s eyes would glaze over, but you’ve come and talked to our students so many times and to see you get so excited about it and really give out such good information, it’s cool. I could go on and on about that.
Max: I appreciate you said that.
John: That’s neither here nor there.
Max: Making me feel good.
John: Back to you.
Sheena: I know! He’s good at that. For sure.
Max: Yeah, he is.
John: But tell us a little bit about your background and why this is an important topic to you because it is something you’re very passionate about, obviously.
Max: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So, my background is I’m a banker. Can I say where I work?
John: Yeah, absolutely.
Sheena: Sure, sure. Of course!
Max: So, I work at Bryant Bank, which is Paul Bryant, Jr.’s bank. I was here in school a long time ago, back when we had phones that were hardwired in, and you actually talked on the phone, you didn’t just press the numbers.
John: You didn’t rotary dial it.
Max: Yeah, exactly.
John: It wasn’t that far back. It was close.
Max: Right, right. It was close. So, I was a student too, and I remember the struggles and the trials and tribulations of my life and how hard it was financially at that time, and how the goal that I had was to get my education so that I didn’t have to have those fears, and hopefully one day it would pay off financially for me. It’s better now, but what’s interesting about all this topic, is that, no matter how much you make, it’s really all about how much you spend and how comfortable you stay within that how much you spend versus how much you make.
Sheena: Sure, sure. You know, Max, given the fact that you’ve been a student yourself and I’m kinda going … Just a little side note, this is not on our question sheet-
Max: No, it’s cool. It’s cool. Yeah, go.
Sheena: You know, I’m just thinking, with your position and at the institution that you’re at, do you notice a lot of college students that confidently walk into the bank and they have specific plans, or do you feel like maybe the college population isn’t what you see as often when it comes to the patrons and customers that you have at your facility?
Max: Yeah, no. The answer to that is an unequivocal no. You know, if I meet a college student, most of the time they’re nervous, anxious, not understanding, and that’s par for the course. They’re spending time learning stuff in their major, so this is a totally different field. If you listen to any guys like Dave Ramsey, or any of these guys, they’ll tell you that a financial education is different from a traditional education in America. So, I’d encourage people to obviously listen to this, but also seek out, try to find answers and read some of these books. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I don’t know if you ever heard of that? That is a fantastic book. Dave Ramsey does great stuff on finances, so find some resources and, hey, just stop in your local bank and talk to a banker. We could give you some great advice, great tips. Shameless plug, Bryant makes a great bank. If you want to stop in there.
John: Right. I think a lot of people don’t necessarily see bankers as being a resource like that-
John: You know? The fact that you’re so approachable. I’m in the process of reading Phil Knight’s book.
Max: Oh yeah, man, that’s a good book.
John: So you’ve read it?
Max: Risk, yeah. It’s all about taking risks. He’s just unafraid. Man, I love that.
John: It was really, to me … I’m about a fourth of the way through the book, and it’s kinda neat the way he approached everything, not having any knowledge at all about how finances worked. I think he was an accounting major, or something along those lines, and he didn’t really have a good understanding when he first started out and look at him now.
Max: Yeah. He’s doing pretty well. With shoes.
John: Could he do well with anything else? That’s the question.
Max: He probably could have.
Max: Just that mindset, so-
John: Yeah, absolutely. Seeing as how so many of our students that come to us for jobs and stuff at the Rec Center, their independent for the very first time, and that adds a totally different dimension. When you talk to somebody, and again I’m going a little off script here, but if you were talking to a group of students, is it totally different for freshman and sophomores than what you would tell juniors and seniors?
Max: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll tell you this. It’s different for everybody.
Sheena: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Max: You know? It’s different for every single individual person because everybody has their own different challenges. Different jobs, some kids are gonna work through school, some kids are gonna borrow through school, some kids are gonna have a full ride through school, so you just don’t know who’s gonna do what. In terms of income coming in and how they’re getting them, it’s different for every single individual, so none of the stuff that I say is for specifically one person. Everybody should listen to bits and pieces of this and get an understanding, but for the most part it’s going to be specific to each individual person.
Sheena: Yeah. I love how you say that when it comes to individual circumstances because I think sometimes students they get into this mindset of, if they see particular recommendation, they feel like that’s applicable across the board, and then they start comparing themselves to their roommate who might be in a completely different financial situation, and it can get really frustrating. I know we’ve got a ton of different discussion topics that we’re gonna be talking about with you, Max. One of the things, too, that I was thinking about just with this topic. I remember I was either a freshman or sophomore and walking through the Colosseum after a gymnastics meet, and there was a credit card booth. All I knew was that I wanted that beach towel that was there, and so that’s how I signed up for my first credit card. That is so sad that something like that-
John: Drew you into it.
Sheena: Yeah, so that’s how I first built my credit, and then some funky things happened with that too. I digress. You guys, we gotta take another break. We have got Max Carr with us. We’ve got some fantastic information when it comes to your finances, but we’ve got to take that break. You are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone.
Students: We’re the Mallet Assembly. You’re listening to 90.7 the Capstone.
John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John. We’re here with Max Carr this afternoon talking about financial wellness, and some of the advice that he gives to students that either come in to see him or, like I said earlier, he’s done some talks, in-services for us at the Rec Center on several occasions. We’ll be hitting you up soon, I’m sure, Max.
Max: Man, let me know. I love doing those. That was fun.
John: Let’s get into the meat of this. Really, what are some recommendations that you would make for parents as they enroll their freshman students at the University. If you’re talking to parents of kids that are coming here now, what would you say to them first?
Max: Well, this goes back to the point Sheena said earlier is that when you see a college student, they don’t come in confident and understanding a lot of times. They really have a lot of questions and want to know, so the best way I found out ever to learn about doing anything is to start.
Max: So, if you don’t have an account, then you need to get an account, whether it be checking or savings. I would prefer you to get a checking account because you need to understand how that works. What happens is, we open the account for you, we house the money for you, and then you instruct us as to what we do with that money. Those vehicles that we used to call checks that a lot of people used to write that are really just a little bitty contract that says “hey, bank, send some money to this person over here.” We send it to them and they get it, so what happens when you don’t have enough money in the account and you send that check anyway is the old “bounce” term.
You don’t see that as much anymore with debit cards. They kinda changed the face. It just rejects it right there at the terminal so you don’t have to deal with that, but the main thing is if you don’t have an account, you should get one. If you have one, that’s great. Don’t abuse one. If you want to see some of the other services and stuff that we can provide at a bank, then swing by your local bank and, again, talk to them. Ask them questions and see if you’re up to date in all the latest products, like check deposit. Anything we can do to keep everything as mobile as possible is our goal because we want to make everything as convenient as possible for you.
Anyway, that would be the number one thing I would tell parents is get your kids an account, and make them use it and make them understand it.
Sheena: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, you know, sometimes too I’ve heard students say, whether they’ve heard it from their parents or someone else, that they need to find an opportunity to build credit, so they have that credit score; but then you also hear things from different schools of thoughts, like Dave Ramsey, that say “actually, you don’t have to have a credit score, this credit history, to be able to make big purchases.” What exactly is the answer there, or is it like you said, it’s just literally different for everyone?
Max: Everybody has a certain risk tolerance. Some people want to take more risks than others, some people want to take less risk than others, so you have to tailor your ability, the what I call sleep at night equation. If you can’t sleep at night because you have a credit card with a $300 balance on it, then you don’t need a credit card. You need to stay away from that. If you feel comfortable taking a little bit of risk, then that’s a great way to build your credit.
We commented a second ago, you did the T-shirt thing. I did the T-shirt thing too. I stayed loyal to that credit card company since 1995. Dating myself a little bit, but it’s a great way to build your credit. Get you a little bit credit card with a small balance, and don’t put anything on that credit card that you can’t pay. Be confident that you can pay it. I made some small mistakes, but they were small as a college student because I had a tiny limit. A couple months I would look up and I hadn’t been able to pay anything but the minimum payment, and I’d get nervous and I would work some extra hours and pay the thing off. I would pick up a couple more spin classes or a couple more bootcamp classes.
I’d encourage everybody to, in my opinion, as a banker, it’s a good vehicle to build your credit, a tiny credit card you can afford. What that is, is really representing your promise to pay, your ability to pay. At the beginning of any of those contracts, it says I promise to pay. Your credit score that follows you around everywhere you go is your ability to keep a promise. I try to tell kids that all the time. It’s really quite simple. We make it very complicated. “What if you pull this and you do that?” The reality is, if you pay people on time, you will have good credit. If you don’t, you will have bad credit.
Sheena: Right. Right. Right.
Max: That is as simple as it gets.
Sheena: Well, you know with that first credit card, as I told y’all, that I signed up for, I remember on my 23rd birthday getting this call from my dad and he’s freaking out. I’m like, “What is so wrong?” He said, “That credit card you signed up for” because I guess I had put to send the statements to my parents’ house, and I guess my dad … I will blame my dad on this … He forgot that he had told me that I could start paying my gas with it, and neither of us had paid attention to that account in a while, so it was in over 60 days. So that-
Max: I cringe just thinking about it.
Sheena: It was literally like $24, but it was the over 60 days, and so literally on my 30th birthday, that 7 year period, or whatever it is now, I was doing a happy dance because I’m like “okay, that’s gone! That’s gone!” That $24 plagued me for so long because I had been negligent with that because I forgot that I had paid for gas one day with it, and neither my dad or I had paid attention to it. I tend to be a daddy’s girl and lean on him for everything, and then we had made the mistake that “oh, neither of us had taken a look at that.”
Max: Slipped through the old cracks.
Sheena: Yeah, so even if it, you know … I think the take-home point with that is, even if it is that tiny balance, like you said, Max, if you’re breaking that promise of not paying that minimum balance, or whatever, on time, that’s still going to be a penalty.
Max: Absolutely. So, that $24, if you came in our bank one day and said “hey, I got this great business opportunity” and da, da, da, da, da.
Max: And your credit score was low, then that little $24 mishap could equal a higher interest rate for you and cost you thousands on down the road. It really makes a difference. Especially as a young kid, it’s real volatile because you don’t have very much credit, so if you miss one payment as a young kid, the credit bureau looks at that and says “oh my gosh, this person’s not gonna be a good”-
Sheena: Yeah, she can’t handle $24.
Max: And so your score shrinks wildly, where if you’re 60 years old or like I am. I’m not that old, but okay. At least you’re laughing. If you’re older than the credit score is less volatile because you have an established history of credit. Again, pay people on time and all that is a nonevent.
Sheena: Yeah, yeah. Okay.
John: For our listeners out there, there was a time when you could fill up a car for $24.
Max: Now for $24 you just get to the next pump.
John: Yes, that’s about right.
Sheena: Honestly. What’s ironic, is back then I was driving an Escalade, so I don’t know why it was-
Sheena: Only $24, but I will say now, for the record, to our listeners, I have a very excellent credit score. It’s in the 800’s, so I just feel like I’ve gotta redeem myself.
Max: Nice, nice.
Sheena: And just number drop right there.
John: I’m thinking about you driving an Escalate, thinking about how many telephone books you had to sit on to see over the steering wheel.
Sheena: Quite a few.
Max: Was that kind of a humble brag? “I had an Escalade.”
John: Yeah. Just set it on the side there.
Sheena: I am not in an Escalade anymore, so apparently something went wrong.
Max: I am totally messing with you.
Sheena: Yeah. No, no, no, you’re good.
John: Daddy’s not paying the bills anymore, is what it is.
Sheena: No, they’re not.
John: Max, were you always this cognizant of and aware of your finances? When you were in college did you learn by making a lot of mistakes, or is this what you wanted to do?
Max: Man, that is a great question. So, when I was in college I was broke. The only little card I had was that little bitty credit card. I didn’t have a ton of credit, so I was hand-to-mouth. It was basically you work, you got some money, and then you went and ate, you paid gas, and then it was time to work again. I didn’t have a ton and, I’ll be honest with you, looking back you’re gonna hate that life. You’re gonna hate somebody like me saying “man, that was some great times in my life;” but it really was because I did learn so much on the job, and living life hand-to-mouth and understanding just kind of what life was about. How you actually pay for stuff.
It’s a big deal when you enter the “real world”. I’ve always hated that term my whole life because you’re in the real world as a student, but the difference is, when you get out and start making real money, you can actually some decisions with it. That’s the part where you need that discipline that you establish as somebody who doesn’t have very much income coming in to carry forward, even when you do have a stronger income. So, the answer to the question is no. I was not that cognizant, but I just didn’t have anything. I did establish some discipline, and then when I got into the banking field I really learned a ton about it and established a lot more discipline.
Sheena: Man, you’ve got so much wisdom. Thankfully, we’ve got you for another segment. We’ve got a couple more questions for you, if that’s okay, Max-
Max: Yes, yeah.
Sheena: Good. Good, good, good. Okay, you guys, it is time for another break. You are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone.
Paul: Hey, I’m Paul [inaudible 00:25:21] on my favorite station in the world 90.7 the Capstone.
John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE on 90.7 the Capstone. You’re listening to John and Sheena here, spending this Sunday Easter afternoon, Easter Sunday afternoon. Get that backwards. April Fool’s Day, and all that together. We’re here with Max Carr from Bryant Bank, who’s talking about some finances and things with us. Max, we’ve only got you for another segment here. Hopefully, we can talk you into staying maybe for our last segment, which is a really cool thing that we do.
John: Anyway, before we get into that, though, could you tell us a little bit … We talked a lot about credit cards, let’s talk about student loans. A lot of people use student loans for anything and everything.
Sheena: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
John: Just blank slate, what are you random thoughts on that?
Max: Okay, so first thing is, when you borrow anything, you’re paying interest on it. It costs you money, so my advice is only borrow exactly what you need. Don’t try to gain the system. Don’t try to borrow and then go out and speculate on port rallies.
Max: You should just borrow what you need to live on, and then try to supplement that with some earnings. We talked a little bit about working. In my past, I worked a little bit in college, and I think there’s a ton of part-time jobs in Tesla, so you can take them out if you can. I’ll say this, I think you need to be a student 100% because, you being a student, the goal is to graduate. That’s the end goal. Graduate, so that you’ll be a better suitable candidate for an employer, or you can go out there and start your own dreams. It’s gonna be tough to do that if you’ve strapped yourself up with a ton of student debt because you want to go out there and live it up a little bit.
I would say be disciplined, live frugal. Enjoy living frugal. Enjoy the discipline. Enjoy the struggle. Embrace the suck, so to speak, but then also do your best to try to supplement your loans with a little bit of earnings if you can.
Sheena: You know, in thinking about student loans and we do encourage folks to borrow only what they need, if there is a listener that’s in a situation where they do get that surplus after all said and done with the tuition and they get that refund check, people like to be like “oh my gosh, I’m rich. I’m buy all these tickets to the out-of-town football games.” Instead of them doing something like that, how could they productively use that surplus money, if they don’t necessarily need it for living expenses? Is there a particular type of savings account that could be ideal for them to put that to work towards potentially paying off those student loans? Would something like that be advisable, or have you ever seen that situation?
Max: Absolutely. Yeah, well I’ve never seen one with somebody coming into the bank with a surplus. Quite honestly, I’m not an investment advisor, but I would tell somebody this. If you came into the bank, I’d say “hey, put it in a CD. We’re gonna pay you a little bit more.” If I were a young college kid stumbling upon a couple thousand dollars, I would go to an investment advisory-
Max: And open up an account with them, and have them in something a little bit more aggressive because they’re young-
Max: You know, and if they lose some of that then well we gave it a shot. They got plenty of time to make up for it, but as a young kid I would advise them to do one of two things. If they had any kind of high interest credit card debt or any kind of debt at all, pay that off with that surplus.
Sheena: Sure. Sure.
Max: If not, then I would look at investing it somewhere-
Sheena: Yeah, yeah.
Max: And try to grow that pot.
Sheena: Okay, great. Thank you for that.
John: That was a good question.
Max: That was a good question!
John: Yeah, that’s something you never think about.
Sheena: Well, honestly, there was a girl I knew in high school and then I talked with her after we both graduated from college, from separate institutions, and she had applied for these student loans; but then, at the last minute, got a lot of these different scholarships, so that surplus she had just kept it in an account. So, by the time she graduated, she paid off all her student loans all at once because she had had so much scholarship money, and just had it sitting in a CD.
Max: That is awesome!
Sheena: I was like, “No wonder you’re a valedictorian, okay! I see you.”
Sheena: Yeah, so-
Max: See, and it pays to just be a 100% student as well.
Sheena: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Oh yeah, for sure.
Max: That is interesting.
Sheena: Yeah, so a little side note to her.
Max: What is she doing now, like a rocket scientist?
Sheena: Pretty much, yeah. I think she does something in Huntsville at Red Stone Arsenal, so it makes sense.
John: There you go.
Sheena: You hit it on the head. Yeah, for sure.
John: That was a good question, though, and I guess that’s why you drove an Escalade and I drove a CRX in college, but let’s not even go there.
Max: I’m still driving one.
John: I could go a lot further on gas than you could.
Sheena: Yes, you could.
John: Max, one thing that college students do have to deal with that people in real world, I guess. I can’t say … People in the real world don’t have to deal with as much probably, is the roommate situation. A lot of times students are thrown into a situation with roommates they don’t know that well, and they rely on them to pay all or part of some of the bills, that sort of thing. What kind of advice can you give about that because I know that’s a potential for somebody to get into a lot of trouble, being dependent on somebody else that’s just a college student themselves.
Max: Absolutely. Yeah, so I know the landlords in town require everybody kind of cosign and be guarantors for each other, so there may not be getting around those situations, but here’s what I would say. When you enter into those agreements, make sure you know exactly what you’re responsible for, and make sure that your parents know exactly what they’re responsible for. Go into any of that eyes wide open, and then also go into the utility side of it, the power and the gas and the cable and all that kind of stuff, eyes wide open, completely negotiated and comfortable with the terms of who’s gonna do what. If they don’t hold their end of the bargain, you’ve got some sort of accountability back towards each other that’s not going to be hostile; that’s just going to be “hey, look. You gotta get your $18 just for this cable bill and you hadn’t done it and we just need to talk through it,” so that you can openly communicate those things.
Again, you spent all this time graduating, going from a student to somebody who’s gonna enter the workforce, and you don’t wanna do that with bad baggage. You wanna do that with a clean slate and the ability to get out there and work and open utilities when you move to your new apartment or your house, and buy a first car, all those kinds of things. So, it’s very important to openly communicate all that and go into any of that completely negotiated on the front end, and to make sure you have the capacity to do it. Don’t just sign and think it’s gonna work because it aint!
Max: You need to know how it’s gonna work out before you sign.
John: Right. I ask that because my wife, actually, when she graduated from college way back in the day, she left … She went to school at the University of South Alabama, and she left a roommate in the apartment that they were in. She was gonna pay some of the last bills herself, so we go to buy our first car and “hey, your credit score’s like 100.” “Hey, that’s great! On a scale of what?”
Sheena: Right, right, right!
John: 100%? Alright! Come to find out, she had bailed out and not paid all the bills, and her baggage became my baggage. So, it was one of those things where it hurt us for a while because of the fact that it was somebody that she knew and trusted that just kind of bailed on her. It wasn’t just a random stranger
Max: That’s a great point, too. You need to make sure at the end, at the conclusion, that it’s all handled.
Max: Because if it’s not, somebody’s still expecting payment and, if you didn’t get something in writing saying that you’re not obligated from the actual vendor, be it Comcast or Bell South or Alagasco or any of these entities, then you are still liable for that until it’s completely turned off. So, they need to know that.
Sheena: Yeah. Well, Max, I know we’ll have to wrap up this segment, but just kind of that take-home point of how important that financial health is because I have a lot of students I interact with, and sometimes they seem shocked with job applications when they find out that that potential employer is looking at their financial history. Is that something-
Max: They actually pull credit. Yeah, they pull your credit because they want to know about your character.
Sheena: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Max: So, yeah, it’s extremely important to get … Suze Orman always talks about getting your FICO score. If you have some of these credit cards, you can get that FICO score. That would be something I would encourage somebody to do. Even if you don’t want the credit card, maybe go through the application process, and they will give you your credit scores, so you can find out what those are. You can go to these places online. I never know which one to go to. You can actually walk into a bank and apply, and we can pull your credit score, and we can talk you through your credit profile and how it looks.
Something else, is that going through the application process one time and understanding what a bank is actually looking at, which is character, capacity, and collateral, we are looking for basically those three things, will help you understand how to be a borrower. If you ever want to be a borrower, it would help you understand what we look at to loan you the money. So, again, I would say seek out a banker in your area and just talk to them, and they can walk you through a lot of that kind of stuff.
Sheena: That’s fantastic.
John: This is some great information, Max. It really, really is.
Max: I appreciate you saying that. You’re just building me up right now.
John: Yeah, exactly.
Sheena: Well, I mean, I’ve never thought about my local banker being a resource for asking questions. It’s like, “Only talk to me if you’re applying for something.” So, it’s great to know that someone could just openly come and just ask questions for their own financial health. That’s cool.
John: Everybody’s not as nice as Max either, though.
Max: Yeah. Some of these bankers are a bunch of losers, but you come to me.
John: Come see Max.
Sheena: That’s how we’ll end this segment. The other ones are losers, but you guys we gotta take a quick break, and then we’re gonna be wrapping up in just a little bit. You are listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone.
Ely: Hi. This is Ely Gold, the voice of the Crimson Tide, and I love 90.7 the Capstone.
John: Welcome back to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone. We’re back for our last five-minute segment of the day. We’re going to close things out with our new segment that we introduced last week. Sheena talks about a food. Before we do that, we got Max back with us.
John: So Max is gonna help try to guess the food with me.
Max: Krispy Kreme Donuts.
John: Well, she’s gotta describe it first.
Max: I’m just guessing.
John: It’s not what you want, she has to describe it first.
John: Before you say that, I want to tell you a random fact, though, and we can talk about this next week.
John: I was reading something the other day. In the United States, if you look at the number of fast food restaurants per capita, the south is number one. Alabama is number one in the country.
Max: I would never have guessed that.
John: Would you not have?
Sheena: Good job security for us all.
John: Yeah, exactly. You’re shaking your head. You knew that.
Sheena: Yeah, well honestly, after you told me, I didn’t realize Alabama, in particular. I had assumed the south as a region, but not this state, so I don’t know.
John: Yeah, and I’m assuming that probably what you’re about to describe to us as we go into this, is not a fast food, so I’m probably not gonna be able to guess it.
Sheena: It might be. It might be. So, okay I’m ready to go along.
John: Okay. I’m depending on you, Max.
Max: Okay, alright. Here we go.
Sheena: We’ll see what happens. You know, y’all could do a little tag team effort.
Max: Are we timing this, or is there a prize?
Sheena: We’ll make up a prize afterwards.
Sheena: We’ll see.
Max: Okay. Alright. Yeah. I want your watch.
Sheena: So, okay this food has 15 different vitamins and minerals. The USDA says if you were to have a diet of just this food and whole milk, that would pretty much provide virtually every nutrient needed by your body, which is what I thought was really interesting.
Max: He’s already got it.
John: Just keep going. I got this, but go ahead.
Sheena: Okay. Okay, good, good, good.
Max: Wait, broccoli. Broccoli.
Sheena: Okay, 124 pounds-
John: Wait, wait, wait. Give me a chance.
Sheena: Yeah, let’s list all … It’s an educational moment for listeners.
Max: So just don’t blurt out the answer, is what you’re telling me.
Sheena: Right, yeah.
Max: Okay, I didn’t know the rules! Okay, I got the rules.
Sheena: No, no. Totally. Totally.
Sheena: So, the average American eats 124 pounds of this food a year.
Max: 124 pounds?
Sheena: This food is 80% water and 20% solid. Each day over a billion people eat at least one of these. The largest grown of these was seven pounds, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. China is the largest producer of this food.
Max: China? Rice.
Sheena: This was the first produce item grown in outer space in 1995. What is your guess?
John: Wow. You know what? I was going … There was never a seven pound egg grown, and that’s where I was going. I was going with the egg. You had me. I was all in Easter Sunday-
Max: Grown in outer space?
John: I’m about to go try to find some eggs, and I though you were going with the egg there-
Max: With eggs, yeah.
John: Until you started talking about a seven pound one, and I’m thinking I’m wrong. I know I’m not right and-
Max: So you don’t know the answer?
John: No, I do not know the answer.
Max: I think I got it right here.
Sheena: No. Potatoes, which is-
Max: Yeah, because it could grow in outer space. Yeah, because it’s basically easy.
Sheena: Yeah, and 124 pounds a year per person. Totally. I could easily do that.
John: Yeah, and I probably have 400 pounds of potatoes a year.
Sheena: Yeah, and it said apparently in Germany it’s twice the amount, so they’re eating like 250 pounds of potatoes a year, the average German.
Max: I would’ve thought the French, you know, because they fry them.
Sheena: I know, right? Right.
John: Do they call them French Fries in France?
Max: No, they call them fries.
John: Just fries.
Sheena: So, the recipe I have is from probably John’s favorite website. It’s called skinnytaste.com, and it is this one-pan roasted potatoes, sausage, and peppers. Yeah, so really great. You’re using some Russet potatoes, some onions, bell peppers, and then you can use whatever kind of sausage of your choice. If you wanted to go all out, you could do some Conecuh, or if you wanted to do a little Italian chicken sausage if you’re trying to be healthier you could do that.
Max: My wife’s into the turkey sausage.
Sheena: Yeah, so some turkey sausage, some kielbasa.
Max: It’s pretty good. It’s pretty good.
John: That’s sounding good.
Sheena: Yeah, so we’ll try to make sure we share this with the listeners, but yeah, that’s the mystery food today.
John: Nice. And the link for this recipe, are you gonna tweet it?
Sheena: Yes, I will tweet it.
John: Okay, okay.
Sheena: So, we’ll link it with our 90.7 the Capstone account, and you guys will have access to it.
Sheena: But, you guys, this has been a wonderful Sunday. Max, again, thank you so much.
Max: Thank y’all for having me! I enjoyed it so much.
Sheena: Yeah, for sure. I have a feeling you’re gonna be a recurring guest.
Sheena: We’ll think of some other things for you to talk about for sure, but you guys have a fabulous afternoon. You have been listening to FIT2BTIDE with Sheena and John on 90.7 the Capstone.