“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”
Colleges are the best places to go around making exuberant memories with new people and experience what “living the happiest days of my life” feels like. What seems to go unnoticed is that colleges are also a gateway to the real world. A world of jobs, earning an income, being independent, and working to make your own living.
Most of us start our journey of entering this real world by getting ourselves indulged in part-time jobs, paid or unpaid internships, or even by starting a small business. When the little self-earned income starts coming in, the feeling of contentment is heavenly. But, with no plan on how to manage your income, it takes no more than a week to turn this feeling of contentment into covetousness.
In this article, you’ll come across some friendly and fruitful management tips or ideas to keep your pockets full of your earnings as well as exhilaration.
✓ Budgeting & Tracking
The skill of being able to budget your finances and keeping adamant control on your spending habits transform you into a better person on different levels.
When you start to maintain a budget and keep tracking your monthly income, you get to keep a check on where your hard-earned money is going. Is it being spent on the right things or is it just going down the drain? You’ll know where you are spending more and where you need to cut back.
Living on a budget never implies that you can’t have or do the things you’ve always wanted; it just implies that when you’re doing so, you don’t allow it to leave you with empty pockets at the end of the month.
✓ Living Loan-Free
Living with loans floating all over your head is just like delaying an assignment by saying “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Do we muster enough motivation to start our assignment the next day? It’s absolutely uncertain, and most of the time, a big no.
Going for loans with no money in hand and believing you’ll have enough money to pay off the loan with huge interest rates in the future is an extremely far-fetched vision. One day or the other, you are bound to return the money you borrowed, but the rate of interest applying to the borrowed money keeps on fluctuating, depending on the market. Instead, focus on how you can earn yourself a little extra money to support your daily requirements or sacrifice your dream trip for some time.
As rightly said by Dave Ramsey, “The decision to go into debt alters the course condition of life. You no longer own it. You are owned.”
But the drastic events of time can lead anyone anywhere. If the need may come, a student should only go for a loan when it comes to their education. An education loan is genuinely for your future; if you are taking a loan for your future earnings, you’re having future investments which absolutely makes sense.
✓ Prefer Second-Hand
In terms of “college shopping”, the most required items are your books, notes, new clothes, home furnishing if you’re living away from your home, and even transportation.
For books and notes, instead of spending ridiculous prices on them, you can either borrow books from friends or libraries or consider used books & textbooks which are absolutely cheap and easily available. When you’re done with your semester, you can always sell these books and earn a little more.
As far as clothes and transportation are concerned, give a try to vintage and thrift stores, and ask your friends to escort you to the college or tuition classes to save up a little money.
✓ Social Spending
As much as we all loving having mouth-watering food at restaurants and cafes, or going to concerts and dancing the night away, it is the easiest way to lose all your monthly income in a night.
Who said night stays with board games aren’t fun? Who said staying in and baking cookies and cakes isn’t fun? Who said playing a sport in the playground isn’t fun? Who said friends cannot have fun by just cherishing the little moments?
Fun is where your friends are. Does it really matter what place you are going to?
✓ Minimise spending on Meals
This one is exclusively for the students spending their days away from their home and family. You do miss the homemade food your mom used to cook with some extra love, don’t you?
Let’s try learning a few recipes that taste the same as your mom’s freshly made food instead of getting the food delivered by Swiggy or Zomato every other day. Yes, it is time-consuming and laborious but is degrading your health as well as your money worth it?
✓ Start Investing
The key element to investing is time. It doesn’t matter where you are starting from or with how much you are starting with; the only thing that matters is how soon you are starting.
The sooner you start to invest your money in the right places, the more profitable it is for you in your future.
Explore your options and start your healthy journey to earning money the right way.
Adding these tips & ideas to your daily routine is a great way to keep a check on your finances. It will aid you in supporting your own living and becoming independent while focusing on your degree!