“The struggle is real!” is too legit a phrase to describe surviving the big transition into college. From hectic schedules to academic pressure, down to getting to Friday without going broke halfway through the week… We feel you! The first step to figuring out the art of budgeting is identifying what you can do better, which is why we’ve got The Broke Card for every student trying to figure out what financial literacy means.
Take note: Trying.
Instructions: This card is meant to help you figure out how broke you are. So if you’ve done an item more than twice, cross it out!
If you crossed out:
A: 8 and below
Your Mantra: “Kaya pa!”
While you do splurge from time to time, it’s likely done as a reward for a job well done. You’re great at the whole mind-over-impulse mindset, so give yourself a round of applause!
B: 9 to 17
Your Mantra: “Kapit lang!”
You may be dealing with a love-hate relationship with your budget. Some weeks are better than others. Nonetheless, you’ve sort of got an idea of what to do more and what to do less to keep your spending within control.
C: 18 and above
Your Mantra: “Hala Siya!”
Hey, big spender! As much as life is meant to be fun and lived to the fullest, you may want to hold back on your spending or look into cheaper alternatives! Don’t worry, it’s never too late to gain new saving habits. We got you, fam!
So now, you’ve crossed out the ways you may be overspending. What’s next? It’s time to be conscious about your purchasing habits.
Shopping soon? Answer these questions before buying anything:
1. Can I Survive Without This?
Here comes your first line of defense: the need vs. want strategy. Often we end up buying things to go with a fad or out of pure impulse. Asking this question will let you filter through the things you actually need.
2. Do I Need It NOW?
The delaying tactic is more effective than people realize when it comes to budgeting because you don’t have to feel deprived of what you want. Instead, you’re just giving yourself a bit more time to think if you actually want it.
If in a month you still feel like investing in a certain product, then you would’ve saved enough by then to buy it. Therefore, go for gold!
3. Is There A Cheaper Alternative For This?
Cost-cutting doesn’t have to mean cutting down on all the fun! The best part is, with a little bit of research and creativity, there are a lot of ways to find or even create a cheaper alternative for what you want. If you find yourself spending so much on food, why not bring your own baon to school?
Not only do you save up on money, you even save up on time because you just ditched all those long lines!
4. Is there anything I want more than this?
A good way to motivate yourself is to think of something you want more than the current thing you’re eyeing right now. If you’re saving up for an out-of-the-country adventure with your friends, use that as a driving force. Save P110 on that large milk tea and put it in your travel fund instead.
Note to self: Small sacrifices turn into big gains. Keep your eye on the prize!
5. Will I Regret This Tomorrow?
Making a purchase based on a flash sale or a buy-1-take-1 promo, often leads to a “why did I do this again?” conversation with yourself the next day. What you can do is weigh the pros and cons of whatever it is you want to purchase. If you’re confident enough that you’ll still feel the same fulfillment tomorrow, then you can sleep soundly tonight knowing you actually put some thought into your latest score!
These may seem like very simple questions, but asking these can do wonders for your budget. Try it for a month then come back and check out your progress on The Broke Card!
If you want to take your budgeting goals a notch higher, check out these really cool apps that will help you and your allowance get to Friday alive!