Do you think you are too young to manage your finance as a student?
Are you having issues with managing your finance?
Do you try saving and in the end you do not meet up with expectations?
We are glad you came across this article as we have structured this article so as to proffer solution to your finance issues.
You might be a student or a young individual and it is understandable but only for a short time. You have to start preparing yourself and plan your finance.
Many students face a lot of problems or are having a hard time trying to manage their finance. We tried asking some students about how they manage their finances and many of them said that it is really difficult to manage their finance as a student as they have many needs to meet with little finance to cater for them.
Some of them are having problems with low funds, impulse spending, financial indiscipline etc.
The issue of finance management is a very important one for students because this will help them prepare for the future and life after school. There are many benefits attached to managing your finance properly as a student at any level whether high school or college and even as an individual that is not in school.
As a student, cultivating the habit of budgeting and saving will help you prepare for any situation and also life after school. You have to be financially disciplined in order to manage your finance properly.
It is difficult to forecast future events accurately and so you have to prepare yourself financially through budget and savings. It is important for you as a student to create a spending plan for your money whether it is allowance, gift or income (for student-workers).
We have always talk about setting goals (short-term and long-term goals) and also being a successful student but you won’t be successful in your effort of being a successful student if you do not manage your finance properly.
You cannot afford to be extravagant in spending as this can make you to live on debts. You have to plan, budget and save. These three processes go hand-in-hand. In the process of planning, you are budgeting how you spend every penny that comes into your pocket.
When you are budgeting, you are trying to set out the best possible way to spend money without overspending thereby saving money.
This is a very interesting topic and so we have structured the topic into three sub-topics so as to make sure you grasp the information and make proper use of them to become financially stable as a student.
- What is financial discipline
- Why students should manage their finance properly
- How to manage your finance properly as a student
WHAT IS FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE?
Financial discipline is the act of controlling yourself and also your spending. With financial discipline comes financial intelligence. Financial discipline is how well you are able to control your spending and ability to save so as to achieve your financial goals.
When you are financially disciplined, you will understand your finance and cash flow and also understand why you should spend and how you should spend also. Financial discipline is a skill that everyone should possess in order to achieve goals they set for themselves.
When you are financially disciplined, you become financially intelligent and stable. It allows you to always have money for the most important things to you. For you to be financially disciplined, you have to have a financial plan as to how to budget and save money too.
In working towards being financially disciplined and intelligent, you have to be able to budget; prepare a budget for your spending whether daily, monthly or quarterly but it is advisable to prepare your budget to be daily, weekly and monthly.
The first process of being financially disciplined is preparing a budget; remember a budget is a plan to help you control and track your spending. After preparing your budget, the second process is sticking to that budget. That is where the discipline comes in.
You have to be consistent with the plan and also committed to the budget. This is how you work towards being financially disciplined. It is not really easy but as a student, it will help you in managing your finance properly.
So start working on your financial discipline today. Let’s move to the next outline.
WHY STUDENTS SHOULD MANAGE THEIR FINANCE PROPERLY
Like we have said earlier that it is very important for students to manage their finance properly. They should be accountable for every dollar they spend. It goes a long way to prepare them for the future. There are a lot of benefits to managing your finance properly as a student but we will be looking at a few of them.
- It helps you to meet your needs
For a student who has a budget, you will have to arrange your needs according to how pressing they are. Using the scale of preference in your budget will help you understand your needs and their priority.
With financial discipline, you will get to know your wants and needs and also differentiate them. Knowing the difference between your wants and needs will help you set your needs above your wants and meet your needs.
- It will help you to save money
When you manage your finance properly, you will cut down your spending and cutting down your expenses will help you have reserve for saving. There are two things involved. When you don’t spend; you save.
When you are trying to manage your finance, you try budgeting and the aim of budgeting is to control your spending so as to have something to reserve. It is very important that students save money as it will help you prepare for any eventualities.
- It will help you stay out if debts
Budgeting is a balancing act and a way of controlling your spending so as to manage your finance. When budgeting, you are balancing your income and expenses. When you manage your finance properly, you will spend money on important things and also have savings which will help you stay away from borrowing to meet needs.
You make plans for your expenses and make sure they do not exceed your income (allowance, gifts, wages etc.). When you are living above the money you get, you will definitely run into debts.
- It helps you prepare for unforeseen events
Managing your finance properly means that you will have your savings and your savings serves as a succor in time of emergency and unforeseen events. The future is filled with uncertainties and cannot be predicted accurately.
You cannot totally prepare for the future but spending wisely and managing your finance will help you reserve money which will help you prepare for eventualities or emergency.
- It will help you control your spending
The process of budgeting will guide you on how to spend your money. As a student, managing your finance will help you cut down on your spending. You become financially conscious and overcome the challenges of impulse spending.
Your budget will help you know what you need and also spend within your money.
- It helps you to be accountable for every penny
When you manage your finance or have a proper financial management as a student, it will help you to become accountable for every penny you get and spend. With proper financial management, you tend to understand your money better.
You become smart in your spending as you plan and make rational decisions. You become better at managing your cash flow as you track and monitor your spending.
- It helps you maximize satisfaction
In managing your finance, you try to minimize cost and maximize your satisfaction. Your resources are limited and so you allocate your limited resources to meet your needs in the best possible way so as to maximize satisfaction.
When you are accountable for every penny you spend and understand your finance, you always spend on things that will give you a maximum amount of satisfaction even when you spend less.
- It helps prepare you for life after school
A student that manages his or her finance properly has a chance of starting and thriving well after graduation. A student that has cultivated the habit of budgeting and saving while in school will not find it difficult to monitor and track his or her spending.
While in school, you will gain financial intelligence from consistently disciplining yourself and managing your finance and so you won’t have any problem with managing your finance after school.
- You also have a chance at starting up a business while in school and after school
A student that always saves money can easily finance little businesses in order to start making money. You will not find it difficult to fund a business while in school as you will have enough savings to invest in your business.
Also, if a student has been saving while in school with a plan of establishing a business after school; it becomes easy for him or her provided he or she has been committed and consistent with proper financial management and saving.
- You become independent to an extent
When you already have the habit of saving and you always save money, you will be able to meet some needs by yourself before asking for assistance from anyone else.
Your ability to manage your finance properly and gather up savings will help you cater for yourself and give you a level of independence.
In cases of emergencies, instead of running and sourcing for loans, you fall back to your savings. Savings ensure you don’t couch-surf at your parents.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCE AS A STUDENT
Like we have been buttressing in this article that it is important for students to learn to manage their finance properly. It tends to give you a level of confidence and independence too. We have given you some importance of having a proper financial management and now, we will be giving you some guidelines to how you can manage your finance properly and get financially intelligent.
Without further ado, let’s get to the point
- You should plan and budget
You are not too young to plan or to have a budget. Planning helps you prepare for future events. Planning and budgeting goes hand-in -hand like we have said earlier. Also budgeting is a type of planning process. Budgeting helps you to balance your income and expenses.
You should always have a budget that will help you control your spending. Your budget could be daily, weekly or monthly. It could even be quarterly depending on how you spend. It gives you control over your finance.
- Understand your cash flow and be in control
Many students do not really track or monitor how money comes in and goes out of their pocket. They are not always accountable for the money they spend. It is very important for you to understand and be in control of your cash flow in order to manage your finance properly.
Preparing a budget will help you record your income (allowance, gift, wages) and also your expenses. With this, you can get to understand your cash flow better and be in control of the way you spend and what you spend money on.
- Know your needs and wants and differentiate them
It is very important that you know what you want and what you need so as to be able to differentiate them. You shouldn’t confuse one for the others.
Wants are desires or wishes to own goods or items that give satisfaction. Your wants are numerous and insatiable.
Needs on the other hand are what you cannot live without. Your needs are essential for survival. Examples can be food, clothes etc.
As a student, your needs should come before your wants because they are essential for your survival and also your success. You can use the 50/30/20 rule of budgeting by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi where they advised that;
- 50% of your budgeting should go for needs
- 30% should go for wants
- 20% for savings
Though, this can change depending on personal circumstances as human nature is dynamic.
- Arrange your needs according to how pressing they are
It is important that you use the scale of preference as it will help you manage your finance properly too. The scale of preference is a list where you arrange your needs according to how pressing they are.
Your resources (money and time) are limited so you cannot meet all your needs at once with your available resources so you have to arrange those needs according to how pressing they are and attend to them on after the other. It will help you monitor and track your spending.
- Set financial goals for yourself
Don’t say you are too young to have or set financial goals for yourself. It could be long term or short term. You could set a goal of saving a tangible amount of money at the end of the year and for a long term goal, it could be saving a tangible amount of money at the end of your schooling.
It will help you manage your finance and cut down your spending.
- Adjust your habits and spending
The budget you prepare for yourself will only work if you want it to work. In doing this, you have to adjust your habits and spending. Check yourself very well and try to figure out a habit(s) that needs to be curtailed and also how to cut down on your spending.
Try to identify irrelevant expenses or unnecessary luxury and cut down on them. Spend on what gives you maximum satisfaction.
- Prepare for the worst but still hope for the best
What we mean is that you should always save money. Do not always be on the spending side. Cultivate the habit of saving. That is why it is advisable that in your budget, you should list savings as part of the items you allocate money to.
It will help you allocate a portion of money for saving along side other expenses. Saving helps you prepare for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.
If you don’t have a saving account, you can open a savings account to help you save money.
- Learn self-control and financial discipline
Like we have said earlier that financial discipline is the act of controlling yourself and your spending. Self- control is a skill that students need to have when it comes to managing finance.
Self-control and financial discipline go together. When you have self-control, you will find it easy to discipline yourself financially and organize your finance.
- Don’t engage in impulse spending
You can easily get tempted to buy things you didn’t plan for especially when walking on the road and with money in your pocket or purse. It is very important that you do not engage in impulse spending.
Most items we buy by impulse turn out to be a waste. You should have self-control and discipline as to not buy or spend money on what you didn’t plan for. It will help you manage your finance properly.
- Invest your money in online businesses
Most people are afraid of the risk of investing their money in a business and also students feel they are still young to invest in a business. You must have heard the saying that “as you lay your bed, so you lie on it”. You are never too young to invest and be an entrepreneur.
There are many online businesses you can invest your money into so as to yield more money. Some of them are;
- Blogging and content creation
- Social media ads
- Crypto currency and forex trading
- Affiliate marketing
- Get a part-time job
Before you think of getting a part-time job, you must have critically analyzed the positive and negative effect what having a job will have on your academics. You must first understand that schooling and working can be challenging and demanding; therefore you have to know how to balance studying and working so as not to affect your academic performance. See our article on “do student jobs affect their academic performance?”
Getting a part-time job will help you get more funds and cater for your needs and also be able save up money. Know your school schedule and how you can work along side the school activities.
Having a proper financial management is essential for every individual and students are no exemption. You are not too young to start being financially conscious whether in high school or college.
It is even important that you start now to learn this skill as it will make it easy for you to be financially stable and free as you advance.
We are glad to have taken time to enlighten you about why and how you can manage your finance as a student. Having this knowledge from now will help prepare you for the future and what lies ahead after graduation.
Every information in this article was carefully co-ordinated and guided towards helping you manage your finance properly. We hope you have learnt a lot from this article and we would love you to impact this knowledge so as to become financially disciplined ad intelligent.
See you in our next article…