Entering a university not only signals the beginning of student life but also can be viewed as the starting point of adulthood. At this stage, you must face a number of challenges. One of them is managing your own finances. Moving away from your family’s home and becoming relatively independent can give students a false sense of independence. The tricky thing is that the lack of life experience and maturity can cause trouble. Anyway, it’s never too late to start learning how to manage your life effectively, beginning with being a student away from home for the first time.
For example, learning to handle money efficiently may not seem so complicated after using some simple tips.
- Step 1. Practice making a monthly budget. Make a list of your usual expenses (Murray, 2012). Include such items as food, housing, as well as entertainment, medical emergencies, laundry, and unexpected expenditures. This list will give you a more concrete way of understanding how much money you need and how to allocate it.
- Step 2. Prioritize your needs. Don’t spend all your money on going out with friends and having a good time (Probhakar, 2013). Also, be aware of those special sales that seem too good to pass up. Don’t get upset when it’s difficult to buy everything you want in just one month. Purchase the most essential items and leave the rest of your wants until the next month.
- Step 3. Check your account balance regularly. Use the ATM from time to time to check the balance on your card in order not to exceed the limit. Staying within your credit card limits will be of great use when learning to handle your finances properly (Probhakar, 2013).
- Step 4. Plan for unexpected needs. Obviously, we can’t fully control everything that happens in life, but it’s possible to keep in mind that something unexpected may occur. Having money saved for such occasions will make you feel financially secure and emotionally ready to handle financial emergencies as they take place.
- Step 5. Develop a savings. Financial experts strongly recommend saving about ten percent of your money each payday. This sum may not be significant at first, but it will accumulate over time. This is wise in that you can save for your retirement later in life when you have less earning power.
- Step 6. Be careful with the information concerning your money. Do not disclose your financial business to other people. It’s also essential to stay alert about where you keep your money and\or bank card. Choose a secured location to store cash and cards to make sure that your finances remain safe.
- Step 7. Spend money wisely. To operate your finances effectively, you have to be rather selective when purchasing products and services. Use shops that match your financial resources and that offer moderate prices (Probhakar, 2013). When buying products at the market, don’t be afraid to bargain or ask for a discount!
- Step 8. Start looking for a job. Part-time job? Why not! Working any job will enable you to get needed work experience while also contributing to your finances! What a marvelous idea for a student!
In any case, learning to manage your finances effectively will surely take some time.
However, this skill is worth mastering in terms of developing fiscal responsibility and self-discipline. Furthermore, knowing how to become financially organized will help you adjust to student life and to manage your budget wisely.