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Cut the apron strings, take control of the purse strings

With May 2014 soon approaching, I realize there are endless possibilities for future endeavors and business opportunities. I will be graduating from college. Thus, being prepared and ready for “real life” and “real world” experiences is of utmost importance during this critical juncture of my life.

The fear of the unknown is commonplace for many students. In fact, this translates to, “How much is this really going to cost to make my dreams come true?” Careful financial planning is essential in both personal and business success rates. There are many resources and agencies available that can help you to take control of your purse strings.

Venturing out on your own is always a scary thought. Whether it is leaving home for the first time, “cutting the apron strings,” graduating from college, or starting your own business, all come with risks and uncertainty of the future.

There are expectations in many stages of life, hopes and dreams, but many go unfulfilled due to the possibility of failure and the “fear of financing.” However, there are numerous governmental agencies, resources and websites that provide information on a variety of topics pertaining to both personal and business financial matters.

Several websites such as, and provide information on how to plan and finance everything from student grants for education, tax advice for students, and loans for small businesses. All of the governmental resources are free and have extremely helpful information relating to financial questions and concerns. has tips and scenarios that aid in pertinent financial decision-making topics. These include information regarding taxes on student loans, samples of completed tax forms, and the different types of grants available to undergraduate and graduate students.

I have personally used several of these websites in many of my personal financial decision-making processes and will continue to do so in the future. These resources have helped me to more fully understand the cost and expenses that are associated with higher education.

There are also resources available for those who are interested in starting their own business ventures. Much of the invaluable information assists with planning and decision-making, including such things as: "A 6 Step Guide– How to Get a Business Loan," requirements for SBA micro-loans, and small business tax guidelines. also discusses  government grants and requirements containing important information regarding startup costs of opening a small business.

It is often difficult to take risks that involve making life-changing decisions. However, through research, diligence and strategic planning, a high rate of success is probable. It is possible to alleviate the fear and take control of financing needed for the future.

About the Author

Patrick Kopke
Hastings College, Class of 2014
Patrick Kopke

A senior at Hastings College, Patrick is majoring in accounting with a minor is sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice. He has been involved in numerous activities on and off-campus. He will begin work with a Nebraska CPA in June 2014 as an auditor.

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