Let’s finish up with some important financial advice from teachers that we began in the last column, along with a few of my comments.

When choosing the right college, it’s not about how popular it is or how good the football team is, it’s about the quality and value of the education you are hoping to receive! — CHURCHVILLE-CHILI H.S.

When I have spoken with human resource specialists and others who regularly hire people, they do talk about proven educational performance and not the name of the institution attended. However, that is not always the case for some specialized areas, like Wall Street investment firms.

“Cash is King." — WAYNE H.S.

"Save 10 percent of each pay by means of direct deposit into your savings account (or automated withdrawal from checking into savings). What you don't see, you won't miss. You will build a nest egg that you can further invest." Secondly: "Only use a credit card as a measure of payment convenience, not as a means to buy something when you don't have the money for it already sitting in another account. And always pay your credit card in full each month, no exceptions." Third and last, "Never take a student loan out for more than ten years. If the repayment is more than you can handle, consider two years at a community college and then transfer as a junior into the more expensive college." — HORSEHEADS H.S.

Take time to create your life goals. Split goals into time frames of short term (one year or less), intermediate (three to five years) and long term (six years or more). Then add a dollar amount to the goals on the list to begin the process of saving and paying for the things that are most important to you. As life changes and/or goals are achieved, you need to revisit this list often to modify or make new goals.  Live life fully and stay financially healthy! — EASTRIDGE H.S.

Use cash as much as possible and pay off the credit card balance in its entirety every month. — EDISON H.S.

In speaking to one of my students about the Brighton budget not passing, he said that he wished he had known more about the budget and understood the financial impacts it had on his family.  This was a senior student who voted because "he was told to do so." Maybe, if all of the high school seniors who were eligible to vote had some basic financial literacy skills then they would be more inclined to make a purposeful, rational decision rather than just follow directions. Understanding budgets is an important skill on so many different levels! — BRIGHTON H.S.

Let’s be honest, a realistic budget that is well thought out, and is one that you can stick to, is the foundation of any successful financial plan.

The app MINT will allow you to see exactly where you are spending your money. Every debit card transaction can be placed in a category — for example, new sneakers, clothing, Starbucks coffee, etc. You need to know where your money is going. — FAIRPORT H.S.

We have discussed many of the existing consumer personal finance apps, while acknowledging that they will no doubt increase in number and functions. In addition, younger, tech-savvy generations will no doubt use more than one of them at a time. Nevertheless, I really believe that you need a good personal finance foundation in order to evaluate and integrate all of the available apps into a cohesive and effective financial plan.

​Start saving NOW. Opening / using a savings account in a bank would be terrific. However, even if you save money in a jar at home, anything to start putting money aside. SAVE something from everything you earn or receive. — CANANDAIGUA MIDDLE SCHOOL

As we have discussed many times in this column, saving is a habit, and like so many other “good” habits in life, the earlier you start to build it, the stronger it will be. If you want to be a lifelong saver, and you should want to, start early in life, like we did in my generation. Then you will never think that you can spend everything that you get. You will always live below your means.

This is the kind of great advice that students are getting every day from interested and concerned teachers. Thank you, teachers! By the way — we all could benefit from some of this advice.

On a different subject, but one that is constantly in the news these days, here are a few recent developments in the student loan debt arena. You may have heard about them, but once again, my hope is that all of the publicity will result in students and families focusing more on the problem, and the issues of affordability and making the best career choices, from a personal satisfaction perspective, but also from a financially viable perspective.

One big question that I have, and continue to have, is whether any of these developments, and other proposals being made by politicians, are likely to result in less borrowing or lower college costs? Maybe someone should look at the front end of the equation, not just the back end.

Burger King now has a contest that will pay up to $250,000 of outstanding student loan debt. Three hundred winners can win $500 each, and a grand prize winner will receive $100,000. Don’t be
surprised to see more of these contests and promotions.

Congress has now reintroduced the Employer Participation in Repayment Act that was originally introduced in 2017. It would allow employers to assist employees with student loan payments, tax free, for up to $ 5,250 per year. It is much the same as the current employer tuition assistance programs. It is unclear to me, if the bill is passed, how any given employer would factor this into its overall benefits package, but it certainly would help some working student loan debt holders, and help some businesses attract needed workers. As we have previously discussed, there are currently some employers that are helping employees with student loan repayment, but not on a tax-free basis.

It is clear that the student loan problem is not going away any time soon, so stay tuned.

John Ninfo is a retired bankruptcy judge and the founder of the National CARE Financial Literacy Program. Find his previous weekly columns at http://www.mpnnow.com/search?text=Ninfo or at http://www.monroecopost.com/search?text=Ninfo.