To start with some of the famous quotes on finances would be the best way to convey my understanding about managing money,
‘When money realizes that it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands.’
‘The more your money works for you, the less you have to work for money.’
The current pandemic situation around the globe has reiterated the fact that always expect the unexpected as future is known to none, nonetheless with ample planning we can turn the tide in our favour and reduce the damages.
There are three kinds of people with respect to money related matters ; the ones who lavishly spend without thinking of saving anything for the future or we can call them as the Big Spenders , the second ones who do not spend at all or the Savers and the last ones who think, plan & save for the future and accordingly spend too , or we can call them as the The Hoarder or just like the ants which saves for the rainy days .
College, as we all know, is an exciting and challenging undertaking for most students. Moving away from your parents, living on your own (or with a roommate), making decisions for yourself and having to manage your own finances are just a few of the roadblocks you will be facing. Having a plan in place beforehand and sticking to that plan as closely as possible can help to ensure that you survive the transition with the least stress possible. We must have seen it in our own surroundings how students find it difficult to manage whatever money they get from their parents or whatever small amounts they earn serving as part-time assistants.
Here’s how to make build a strong financial foundation during your college years :
1. Create your own budget: A budget is simply a plan for how you’ll spend your money each month. To make your first budget in college, start by making a list of your fixed expenses, such as rent, tuition, books, utilities, and food. Next, make a list of your discretionary expenses such as clothing and entertainment. Add both your fixed and discretionary spending together, then subtract that from your income/receipt to make a basic budget. Your income includes the money you earn from part-time working and any money your parents may provide regularly. Group the expenses as per your necessities and luxuries and then allocate funds accordingly.
2. Use online services: Most of the students must be tech savvy by now as the pandemic has not left any stone unturned to make us use ample technology. Also, since the youth nowadays is glued to their smart phones whole day, it can be put to a better use by downloading some apps which help in financial budgeting.
Further, discussing about being online and working part-time, there are many ways by which students can earn; to name a few you can enroll for paid internships like the ones offered on Internshala, or you could simply work after your college hours. Just keep in mind though ,that your main focus should not get derailed due to this as your first priority should be to focus on your long term goals.
Some of the few useful budgeting apps are :
Having these kind of apps can make you stress free regarding your financial investment and savings. Further students can open up an online bank account to get access to their transactions on a daily basis. However they should also always be vigilant about increasing cyber crimes in the recent times.
3. Minimize student debt: In this growing age it becomes tempting to buy cool stuff, even if it burns a hole in your pocket , just to earn flattery, however the long term goals should always be kept in mind. This can be achieved by the following means :
4. Look for student discounts: Nowadays each and every offer an ecommerce site puts up, a special offer is chalked out filled with student benefits, so that students do not miss out on any big deals due to limited funds.
Some of the instances of Student Offers rolled out in 2020 were :
5. Take care with credit cards : Credit card companies often lure students in with college-centric offers, such as the promise of free concert tickets or free college swag. However in this world full of increasing cases of cyber crimes, one should be extra cautious about their credit card usage and keeping their passwords with them safely. In times where the Prime Minister’s twitter account can be hacked, nothing can be surely secure.
6. Set financial limits : You should all set financial limits to put a curb on your unnecessary spending habits. Set a limit say Rs.1500 spending per month and stop impulsive purchases. You can always bring non perishable items from your home to buy only what is required to make a decent living.
7. Avoid full price textbooks: There are various online sites like Ebay,Chegg etc which offer second hand books and notes for students so that they can study effectively without any money woes. And for that matter, you could even issue books from your library and study as per your convenience. After use, you can also seek to donating your books to someone in need
8. Protect personal information: Your personal information is your greatest asset, and protecting it is your utmost responsibility. Even if a minute confidential detail leaks, your whole personal data is at threat. Do not share your passwords with anyone, be it any close friend or acquaintance.
So, Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can just wait until you graduate and get your dream job before taking your finances seriously. Life doesn’t always work out as planned and time is your greatest asset when it comes to saving money. Even if it doesn’t seem like the few bucks a week you’re saving in college is a lot, you’ll thank yourself after graduation. And once you’re beginning your first job, you can continue adding to your savings by adjusting your budget to account for a (hopefully) higher income and taking advantage of employer benefits.