A Student's Budget

When I was still a student, the word budget was not in my vocabulary. It was so easy receiving allowance every week end, ask for more, if I still need it and spend extravagantly on food, gimmicks and school expenses. However, this was not the trend for some of my friends. It was awesome at first, I felt like I have a financial freedom but as I go on, I experience scarcity, I go for borrowing money and worst, I begin to starve. I despised those moments of misplaced freedom in terms of finances when I was I student. I never even saved because my mindset was, my parents can provide which are all very wrong. [caption id="attachment_18007" align="aligncenter" width="262"] From buzzle.com[/caption] Firstly, I would like share you what are the mistakes most students do with their finances. Mindset. If you think your parents are a mine of money that will never ran out of money whenever you asked for it, then you are wrong. Most of the parents find it really difficult to support their children, if your parents are pampering you then try not to pamper yourself. Don’t ask for too much. And do not rely on Kickbacks. Priorities. Most of the student’s priorities are determined on the first day of allowance. That is time is where we go to the mall and buy senseless stuff due to impulse. That’s why; it ends up starving and super thrift just to befit the remaining allowance to all of the remaining expenses for the week. Peer Pressure. Friends are mostly the influence of your expense but the truth is, you don’t have the same allowance. I suggest you not to be a social climber just to fit in. Find your true place. Excess. Everything that’s too much is bad. If you will spend too much on food that you won’t eat, shoes and clothes that you can’t wear and gimmicks that out of the budget then you are putting yourself into the brink of debt. It’s okay to have debt. I’ll pay it anyway. NO, No, no. Debts are not okay unless it is an emergency expense. In your student days, debts are not courtesy it is a habit formed out of mismanagement.   Luckily, I have met friends, roommates, school mates and even classmates whom shared to me the value of money. I became aware of the truth about student finances and I will share these tips on how to manage student finances. Gratitude. I have met an engineering student, he is a full academic scholar (in our university that means you only have to pay other fees because your tuition is free) but then I was surprised to see him as a student assistant. I asked him, “Why do you still have to apply for a job when you’re already a full scholar?” He answered me; “My mother solely supports me and my three siblings, Even the fee’s we can’t afford. I need this job so I can study.” It was heartwarming, I realized how lucky I was and I felt somehow shameful if I spend too much on nonsense things as a student while finds ways to support themselves. If you have gratitude to your source of finances, you will not waste it. You will treasure it. Know your Finances. It can be categorized as what you receive and what you spend. Firstly, know what you needed for the week. Food, transportation, School Expenses, supplies and board and lodging if you do. If you know your expenses you can now disseminate your allowance and make sure you have allotted everything accordingly to avoid shortage. Know what amount of grocery you can eat for a certain period, if it’s too much carrying it over for the next week will reduce your grocery expense for the next week. Expect the Unexpected. You cannot avoid sudden gimmick, school project or even a charity. The best way is to anticipate in your costing that in some way or another you must have extra money for something. It is not healthy depriving yourself; the more you do it the more you become hungry of spending. Choose the right influences. Fight the influences. It is not wrong to say yes sometimes but as I mentioned above, Excess is not healthy. Do not buy because your friends does if it out of the budget. I am sure your friends will understand if you tell them the truth about your pocket. You can also influence your friend’s trend, on being wise in money. Furthermore, your friends allowance and status is not the same as yours, better not risk yourself just because of envy and fitting in. Start Saving. I never thought about it at first. I always thought that I can always save whenever I have money of my own, when I already have a job, but it was wrong. I often find myself envious of friends whom know how to save and buy things that an employee can afford. It was frustrating. It was hard for me to save, and then I go for the coins. It became my addiction collecting 5’s and 10’s and dropping them to my precious coin bank. It was an achievement when I filled that container and I had lots of money. Go for Part times. Part times are not only for Job. In my case, I learned to sell many things, from cellphone loads, pastillas, brownies, butterscotch, chocolates, polvorons. I earned from these little business a little yet, I have earned experience and a little money. It’s not necessarily a need to have your part time; it can also be a hobby and the best thing is you don’t have to have a huge capital. I suggest you not go for networking for this age as part time because students don’t have big money yet; it will be difficult to find a down line. Be Resourceful. Supplies, tuition fees can also be found inside the campus or dorm if you can be resourceful. You can share supplies if it’s too expensive, borrow and return to your friends, photocopy books if you only need pages. Furthermore, you can also borrow from the library; it’s cheaper than the internet. Know what your perks are. Your school may provide you free dental check up, free medicines, free Wi-Fi it’s your right to know and use these things.   I am currently a student again, I have list down my budget for the term and hopefully, it will work out. In case you already have your budget and it is still inconvenient, then don’t be afraid to make some changes. As a student, it is critical to know how to budget. Sources : http://financialplan.about.com/od/moneyandcollegestudents/l/blcollbudget.htm http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/aug/14/studentfinance.students http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/smart-spending/college-student-budget-calculator.aspx http://www.savethestudent.org/money/student-budgeting/student-budgeting.html http://www.citizensbank.com/student-loans/budgeting.aspx

Mark Hugh Neri

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