As a university student it is often very difficult to explain how all of our money disappears even before the 3rd week of the month ends, let alone keep track of all our transactions. You have numerous obligations to meet which includes attending social gatherings, purchasing the latest gadgets, staying updated with latest fashion trends, university book shopping and so on. With all these expenses piling up, one could easily drown in the budget deficit sea every month, leaving you wondering if somethings could have been done differently.
Just for such scenarios, we have provided 5 advices to help you get a grip on your personal finance more effectively:
- Learn to Prioritize
It might be alluring to attend every single hangout, to be as social as possible among your new found peers, but it should not be at the cost of burning a hole in your wallet at a pace which you cannot afford. There is no shame in skipping the odd gathering and opting for a lunch at home, rather it will help you avoid that weight gain, which often comes along with eating out.
- Budget, Budget, Budget
This might sound like the most cliched idea on the list, but hear me out. Often the pocket money we receive from home is not sufficient to meet our expenses and we engage in part-time jobs and tuition to cover the deficit. Since you are already earning, it is important for you to keep track of your inflows and outflows. I’m not asking you to monitor every single Taka, but to create a presumed budget to have an understanding of how much money you can afford to spend on food, travel, stationery, phone bills, etc. each month.
- Use Mobile Applications to Keep Track
Now if you are still thinking that managing a budget might be too much of a task; the solution is to use expense manager applications on your phone. My personal favorite is Money Lover, but there are a number of other similar applications available on the app stores, which sort your transactions categorically. They work offline and require minimum effort and can help you show real-time balances of your wallet, keeping you on your toes.
- The Unexpected Does, and Will, Happen
Out-of-the-blue expenses can appear and impact your wallet at any given time. A surprise batch trip may come up, and you do not want to miss out. Or your laptop might start acting up, and it is going to cost you a hefty 5k to repair it. It does not even have to be an expense, you can lose your tuition job anytime; they happen to everyone, so prepare for the worst. Always try to have a Plan B. Have a backup fund stored away in an envelope, at the further corner of your wardrobe, possibly near Narnia. Reach out for it at times of dire need only.
- First Save, then Spend
When it comes to talking about personal finance, you can never ignore this age old advice of putting away a fixed sum of money from your earnings first, and then spending whatever remains. Open a bank account if you don’t have one already. Most banks offer lucrative services for their student/college accounts and there are various savings schemes as well which some times provide a little interest. I recommend students opting for short-term monthly deposit schemes; you might not get a good return, but you will end up having sufficient cash for that international trip you are planning to go on at the end of the final year.