One of the daily struggles of any college student is managing finances. From the day-to-day commutes, meals, school projects, and even night out with your friends, a hefty savings account by the end of every semester is everyone’s #CollegeGoals. As a student, we’ve all had those “petsa de peligro” days where your next allowance is still far and yet, you’ve already spent more than half of it. You find yourself checking all your bags, wallet, and jean pockets to see if there are any coins or paper bills (how you wish!) left just to save you from being real broke. The struggle is real!
While it is not always fun and easy, training yourself to become a smart spender can make a big difference. Young as you are, knowing how to save and spend properly can define how your future financial success will be. Here are some tips on how to stretch your school allowance.
1. Allowance – Savings = Expenses
Memorize the formula! Start from the moment you receive your allowance. Divide a sheet of paper into two sections- Allowance and Expenses. Under allowance, write down all of the sources where you get your money. It could be the allowance from your parents, the stipend you receive from a scholarship, or some earnings from a part-time job. On the other side, list all of the expenses you are expecting such as food, rent (if you are in a dorm), groceries, transportation, and other miscellaneous fees. Set aside 10% to 15% of your total allowance as savings so the amount left should then be your budget for expenses. This way, you are forcing yourself to think of saving first before spending.
2. Track what you spend
As you write things down, it helps you keep track of the areas where you shell out your money. Did you know that impulsive shopping is the number one cause of overspending? Before you go to the grocery, list down the items that you really need and cross out those that you can live comfortably without. Another important thing to remember is that not all the discounts you see are worth it. Focus on what’s on your list of needs and keep your spending spree in check.
3. Be a “hack” ninja
Learn different tricks to make your daily living easier and cheaper. Transportation is one of the biggest chunks in your expenses pie. If your school is just a few blocks away from where you live, walking will be your best bet. Not only does it help you save money, it can also improve your health. If you have to travel to school, checking the best routes for commuting can help you save money, too! You can also try bringing your own lunch at school. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save in a month vs regular trips to fast food chains or convenience stores.
4. Unleash the entrepreneur in you
Aside from being a working student, you can also try buy and sell. If you have things in your house or closet that you no longer need such as books, old bags, or clothes, why not do some garage sale or sell it online? There are many available buy and sell sites online such as OLX, Facebook Marketplace, Shopee, and Carousell that you can try. Not only will you earn some extra cash, but you can also declutter your life.
5. Settle bills and debts on time
If you are subscribed to postpaid internet or mobile plans, make sure to pay the bills on time so it won’t pile up. Some companies even give interest discounts for “early-bird” payers. If you owe friends some debt, no matter how small it is, make sure to allot budget to pay them the moment you get your allowance so that (1) you don’t forget and (2) you keep a relationship in check!
For more tips and tricks to navigate senior high school and college life, visit blog.edukasyon.ph now!