Lung Chan

Purdue student Lung Chan believes that financial health is not about having a sound bank balance. Instead, it is about managing money-related stress. That is why he practices careful planning and budgeted spending. And that is why he helps students and parents through his job at the financial aid office at Purdue.

Age: 21
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
Year in School: Senior
Major: Nursing
Current music on iPod: Soul to Squeeze by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Favorite Book: 1984 by George Orwell

His game plan: Lung swears by his spreadsheet and uses it religiously to track his income and expenses. “I plan for bills like rent and groceries and at the end of each month, I compare it to the previous month to see if I am maintaining my average. It is important for me to know where my next rent is coming from.”

Planning for others: Financial planning is second nature to Lung. He spends 10 hours a week at the financial aid office helping others with their finances. “I work with incoming freshmen and parents on matters of financial aid. I also work with current students and show them how they can get through the semester.”

Motivation to keep going: Financial management is a continual process. “Income and expenses can keep on fluctuating based on your job or your situation. Like right now, I am living with my girlfriend who has a part-time job, and I have to make sure I have enough money to support both of us.”

Making a difference: Two sisters came to Lung for financial help and advice. After talking with him, they sent an e-mail expressing their utmost gratitude for his assistance. “When they thanked me, it really felt nice. Hopefully what I said helped them get more peace of mind.”

Advice to others: Lung asks everyone to plan their money but also be realistic. “Know that there will be expected or unexpected expenses to make at certain points in time. For example, at the beginning of the semester, I have to buy textbooks, stock up on groceries, or buy small furniture. I try to keep those things in mind.”

By Kinnari Sejpal