The importance of managing money for students
Money is an important part of modern times, just as important is how students manage their money
The value of money is heightened in our teenage and adolescent years. This is the age we appreciate the value that money brings, but may not be able to make as much of it as we need or believe we deserve. University students are at that age where their money needs are increasing but have limited access to income. it is also a time of great learning that can help to lay the foundation for future spending habits.
It is therefore at this stage that good money management habits of a lifetime can be developed. It is important for students to learn the simple ways to manage money better not only for now but also for the future.
Knowing how to manage money better can save a lot of stress and help to focus on the most important life lessons, the experience. University time is an important part of life’s journey. Learning about money management takes time and discipline. It is therefore important that we start the habits that will be needed throughout life.
Some students may be lucky that if they run out of money, they have people who are their safety nets, but this is not the case for everyone. Many parents have their own challenges to contend with.
A few suggestions
Life at university is exciting. Some universities offer prepared meals, if are lucky enough to have this included in your fees, then at least you know you are not likely to starve, but you still need to manage your living expenses.
If you live in shared accommodation with other students try to split the cost of things like broadband, gas, electricity and so on and with the others to keep the expenses down.
Avoid buying things on the spur of the moment. It is better to buy food that you can cook rather than prepared meals. Differentiate between essentials that are urgently needed and ‘good to have’ things that can be delayed, postponed or even avoided.
What about second-hand text books or borrow essential books from the library?. Many universities now have digital versions of books, so check the digital version first before buying books and only if absolutely necessary. If possible, avoid places where you are likely to spend un-planned money, yes the beer may be cheap but if you are out with friends this become expensive.
Budgeting and planning your money may be easier if you live on your own. You can also use the library and other university facilities rather than stay in your flat during the winter months to study.
Take advantage of discounts on travel buses, food vouchers, rail and everything else on offer . Some students buy second and bicycles to travel around campus to save on transport costs.
Buy only the things and in the quantity that you need. Too much and you may be forced to eat more or throw things away. If you cook your own food, then any leftovers can be made into sandwiches for those long lecture days.
Avoid friends who pay you visits for the main purpose of eating at your flat unless you do the same to them.
Take water and food from your flat to school rather than buy water or food from the canteen.
Be careful using credit cards, it is easy to overspend, better to use debit or cash top up cards.
Many banks offer free banking facilities for students, but be careful because some of them charge more when you go into overdraft. If you are not good at budgeting well and using your credit card, use cash where possible.
Remember to take only what you need in the form of student loans, you will eventually have to pay it back.
Unless you have rich parents who can comfortably bail you out in case of emergencies, set some money apart. Emergency money should be kept in a different bank account.
The best way to control your costs is to find a way to track your spending, reduce or eliminate any unnecessary expenses. There are several applications or spreadsheets you can use to keep track of your expenses.
At the end of the year, sell the things you no longer need such as books, clothes, even furniture. One man’s junk is another’s treasure.
You can make money on online, through tutoring, or by working a few hours a week to help get out of the routine and to gain some valuable work experience that employers value, but don’t overdo it to the detriment of your studies.
Have fun and don’t forget to enjoy yourself
Having said the above, have fun, spoil yourself occasionally when you have achieved your goals. Remember, money is a resource and you are the master. You are in control and never let it manage you.
You may also be interested in our other blogs such as Spending time wisely