Money. Some say it is the root of evil, others claim it a ticket to a better life. Whatever you might think of it while at college, you’ll most definitely need it until you graduate, which means – you need to know how to deal with personal finance smartly and effectively. In this article, I’ll give you a few proven tricks that will change your money management for good, but before that, I explain why you need to learn it.
Whatever course or program you’re taking in the college now, you’ll graduate and say hello to adult life where you’ll be making a lot of money-related decisions. It can influence how we use time or what quality is the service or product we buy or offer. How so?
In some cases, if we have a lot of money, we don’t sacrifice time or quality; in others, we depend on it to receive something good quickly. If you know what to do with your savings, how to spend this resource wisely, and always have some cash in your pocket, it will not only give you access to better things but also free you from the necessity of making a choice or compromising. And this can save you something more precious than money. So, let’s learn how to become the best money manager.
Tip 1: Use Your Student Status for Discounts
Money is one of the most powerful resources, but sometimes a status can play even a bigger card. Students all over the world enjoy the benefit of their university years – and rightly so!
This is a list of benefits that I could come up within 1 minute only:
- special terms for student loans with low interest
- credit cards with a reasonable monthly limit available in many banks
- better plans for various software (Adobe, for instance) and subscriptions
- huge discounts for public transport
- International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which you can use in every participating country to save a lot while abroad
- lower prices for books (any format), music, video content, etc.
- discounts for electronic devices (do I need to mention Apple here?)
- entrance fees for nearly all cultural events in any city
This is not the whole list of financial perks you may have as a student, but even that can save you 10, 50, or 100% of the money for a service of a product by just showing your valid student ID card.
Tip 2: Plan the Budget and Install Money Tracking App
At this point, you should learn how to track income and spendings regularly, see if the latter doesn’t exceed your income X-times, and plan your purchases, aka planning the budget. Your budget may include paying your campus rent, a debt (if you have any), shopping essentials and school stuff, covering personal spendings (like movie tickets, dinner with friends, etc.), buying presents, and other extras. This gives you a full picture of what you need cash for. Why would you need a money tracking app then?
If money management isn’t something you enjoy, consider my perspective. I look at managing my money as if it were a part-time job. The time you spend monitoring your finances will pay off. You can make real money by cutting expenses and earning more interest on savings and investments. I’d challenge you to find a part-time job where you could potentially earn as much money for just an hour or two of your time.” – Eve Maygar, blogger and education expert at PapersOwl.com. Her publications in education journals and blogs help students become more successful during and after classes.
Well, when you know how much you have and how much you need, you can balance it and find a solution that won’t hurt your plans. When you track your transactions, you know where you can cut off and where to add. For instance, you can choose a cheaper backpack, and then you’ll be able to buy your best friend a b-day gift he/she always wanted.
Tip 3: Open a Saving Account
Yes, it’s a popular belief that a school is all about spending, not saving. It’s true to an extend, namely, to the time you get a part-time job and start making some money. As soon as you do it, open a student account and save 10% from your monthly income. Yes, this might seem like a small amount ‘ but thatś exactly the point! It won’t hurt you or leave you hungry, but at the end of the year, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and glad you did it.
Tip 4: Shop Smart
You don’t necessarily need a new book. Because you can buy a used one with 30-90% off. You don’t necessarily need designer clothes. Because fashion is fluid, plus, do you need anything else than a sweatshirt and sweatpants on the campus? You don’t need to buy anything right away. Because if you shop around, you may find a cheaper option and save big. The bottom line is: there are a lot of alternatives to spend less for what you need, and if you have to use some coupons for that – ok, they are there for the reason. For example, you can find a college algebra course online available on online college websites; it’s affordable, achievable, and easily transferable to other universities.
Tip 5: Read About Money and Banking
Sounds like doubtful practical advice, right? Well, it won’t seem like that to you in 5-10 years. The reason I recommend you to learn more about money and finance than they teach you at school is that this is something you need to know for the rest of your life. Why? It will shape your money management skills, give you insights on how money works and how to choose the best bank, educate you on how to invest and what to refrain from when opening a deposit, among other things. As a bonus, it may open you to new people or give ideas about how to start a successful business.
Managing money like a pro is a skill that will stay with you for the rest of your life, and the sooner you’ll learn it, the sooner you’ll benefit from it. Who knows, maybe in the future, you’ll take it to the professional level and become another Wall Street genius.