Students are notoriously known for always being broke. And we’ve given advice in the past on how to overcome these money struggles. But true financial freedom requires more than just practical tips. You need to have a basic understanding of how money works, and what it means to be financially free.
Since financial freedom is everyone’s goal, it’s important to understand what it is.
What is Financial Freedom?
Financial freedom means not needing to worry about money. Imagine being able to make decisions in your personal and academic life without being held back by money concerns.
For a student, it could be as simple as having that extra cash to buy some ice cream after you’ve had your lunch at the canteen (Back in college, dessert was a luxury I could not afford on a normal day!). Financial freedom means being able to focus on studying for your exams instead of worrying whether you have paid the tuition. #Goals, amirite?
Bottomline: Financial freedom is empowering. And thinking about money (on a healthy level) does not make you materialistic or selfish. Money will allow you to function, so that you can serve others.
So what can you do today to achieve financial freedom?
As a student, you’re at an advantage. You can get a headstart on learning the ropes of adulting such as investment. Mica Tan was only 13 years old when she started trading stocks. Today, at 25 years old, she is the president and chief executive officer of the MFT Group of Companies.
Sure, not everyone will become a CEO. But there’s truth in the saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” Imagine reaching the age of 25, but having more knowledge and experience than most people your age would have.
Look for scholarships.
Finding an alternative way to pay for your education can lessen the burden on your parents. Moreover, a scholarship allows you to set aside money for investments and other needs.
Start a business.
Being young gives you a unique strength. You know the needs of your generation. And your familiarity with technology gives you a world of opportunities.
With only US$50 (PHP 2.5K), an LA-based Pinay started a successful online shopping business. With her earnings, she was able to buy a brand new BMW Sports Car at the age of 18, a Mercedes Benz SUV at 23, and a house in Los Angeles at 25!
You could even be one of the young trailblazers, in the likes of Project Lily’s Aya Fernandez, who have found a way to earn money while making a positive impact.
Save money in small ways.
When I was a kid, my dad used to tell me to save 5 pesos a day (multiplied by 365 days, so that’s PHP 1,825 in a year), and then I’d be rich by the time I’m all grown up. LOL.
You don’t have to wait 10 or so years to build your savings, though. The little money you set aside every now and then adds up. “Hanggang saan aabot ang 20 pesos mo?” they say. PHP 20 x 5 school days a week = PHP 100. That’s PHP 400 in a month, we say.
And if you want to go big, you can start investing your money. The younger you act, the greater the returns.
Invest in yourself.
Doing well at school may seem irrelevant to your far-off future. But honing your skills, and discovering your interests now will surely benefit your career in the long run. These factors will guide you in making the immediate decisions such as choosing the right college course.
The right college course is your doorway to a career that you are good at and passionate about. Passion breeds grit. And grit leads to success.