As students, you already have a few adult responsibilities. One of such is budget planning and management. It’s a normal thing for you to have limited financial capacity. How then can you ensure that you properly manage this? Well, that is actually the whole essence of this article. Whether you are from the upper-class, lower-class or middle-class, we all need money management skills.
In order not to be broke by mid-semester, here are some tips you should consider:
Well, I think this is the most important tip. You need to list out all the things you want to buy and categorize them into “needs” and “wants”. Just to be clear, “needs” are the things you cannot do without; like bathing soap, school books, your rent and so on, while “wants” are the things that you can do without; like the latest iPhone, junk food, unnecessarily expensive extensions (ladies, I see you) and so on. “Wants” are great, they are also unnecessary at this point in your life. Your sponsor will most likely give you money that will be enough for the necessities, except they cannot afford all your needs. The truth is, your needs increase as your income increases. Some “wants now become “needs” to you. It is like a universal law. One thing I want you to understand is that you will get there. Do not let peer pressure make you do things that you are not proud of.
Also, in this time and age, students should be intentional about getting extra skills. So I would advise you to create room in your budget for learning skills that will complement your ultimate goal as an individual.
A certain percentage of your income or allowance should be saved. Savings are very important especially in cases of emergency or capital to start a business/investment. Do not be a “spend it all” kind of person. It is irresponsible to spend all the money that you receive. So start a saving habit today. There are also times when you will be genuinely broke even though you stuck to your budget and managed your money well. In cases like that, you would have a savings stash to fall back to. Guess why? You planned well.
Financial planning requires a lot of calculation. Now, we need you to do a little math. I hope you like math; basic math, at least. So, after you have deducted all your bills (needs) from your allowance, you would have a certain amount of money left. Assuming this is X amount of money, remove a small percentage to save. After you deduct savings from X, you get Y. Then assuming it is a monthly allowance, split that Y amount into 4. So Y/4 will give you Z. this Z amount of money should be what you spend per week. Now that you have successfully done this, you now need to discipline yourself to stick to it. The self-discipline part is the hard part, really. I am not advising you to be rigid with your money. People may come to you for help. Render help but know that you cannot help everybody. Be generous but also be wise.
A proper budgeting as explained above would help you save up some money. You don’t just leave your savings in the bank, its necessary you put your savings to good use. What is that business you’ve been wanting to start? Or that business you can do? Or that investment? It’s time to try it. One thing you should know about wealthy people is that they use money to get more money. Whether it is buying and selling, investing in stocks, a courier service, maybe even catering services or hairdressing or fashion designing, it is time. These days, everyone should have a side hustle. Put your talents to good use. There are ample online resources that will help you grow your business; in terms of acquiring insights into the business and providing you with a platform to market online. The amazing part? Most of these resources are free, all you have to pay is attention and well, some data.
Another thing is that you have to be sure it is the right thing for you. Is it sustainable? Is it something you love to do? Is it going to affect your studies negatively? Ask yourself the important questions before you venture into any business or investment
I cannot leave this out. You are young and you should have fun. So create allowances in your budget for fun. “Fun” here includes buying clothes, eating out, going to the cinema and so on. You may not have the financial capacity to get all you want, but getting some of the “wants” is also important so your life don’t become boring. You need that juice in your life.
From what we have discussed, the main value you need in managing your finances is self-discipline. Just to give a rough estimate, I would advise that 60% of all you earn should be for your bills, 10% for savings, 10% for investment, 10% for fun and the remaining 10% for learning (self-improvement not formal education). Have all these things in place so you do not go about borrowing or disturbing your sponsors for more money because you exceeded your limit for a specific period. As cliché as it is, the man that fails to plan, plans to fail.
I hope you found this article on “How To Design A Perfect Financial Budget As A Student” interesting. You can always check SchoolMetro for quality academic contents.