College, as we all know, is an exciting and challenging undertaking for most students. Moving away from your parents, living on your own (or with a roommate), making decisions for yourself and having to manage your own finances are just a few of the roadblocks you will be facing. Having a plan in place beforehand and sticking to that plan as closely as possible can help to ensure that you survive the transition with the least stress possible. We must have seen it in our own surroundings how students find it difficult to manage whatever money they get from their parents or whatever small amounts they earn serving as part-time assistants.
Here’s how to make build a strong financial foundation during your college years:
1. Create your own budget: A budget is simply a plan for how you’ll spend your money each month. To make your first budget in college, start by making a list of your fixed expenses, such as rent, tuition, books, utilities, and food. Next, make a list of your discretionary expenses such as clothing and entertainment. Add both your fixed and discretionary spending together, then subtract that from your income/receipt to make a basic budget. Your income includes the money you earn from part-time working and any money your parents may provide regularly. Group the expenses as per your necessities and luxuries and then allocate funds accordingly.
2. Use online services: Most of the students must be tech savvy by now as the pandemic has not left any stone unturned to make us use ample technology. Also, since the youth nowadays is glued to their smart phones whole day, it can be put to a better use by downloading some apps which help in financial budgeting.
Further, discussing about being online and working part-time, there are many ways by which students can earn; to name a few you can enroll for paid internships like the ones offered on Internshala, or you could simply work after your college hours. Just keep in mind though, that your main focus should not get derailed due to this as your first priority should be to focus on your long term goals.
Some of the few useful budgeting apps are:
· You need a Budget
· IQ Option
· ET Money
Having these kind of apps can make you stress free regarding your financial investment and savings. Further students can open up an online bank account to get access to their transactions on a daily basis. However, they should also always be vigilant about increasing cybercrimes in recent times.
3. Minimize student debt: In this growing age, it becomes tempting to buy cool stuff, even if it burns a hole in your pocket, just to earn flattery, however, the long term goals should always be kept in mind. This can be achieved by the following means:
· Spend on the right things- Even if it brings temporary pleasures, try to cut down on unnecessary expenditure
· Opt for part-time jobs– Instead of availing student loans, if time allows you could always opt for working part-time and taking care of your own expenses.
4. Look for student discounts: Nowadays each and every offer an eCommerce site puts up, a special offer is chalked out filled with student benefits so that students do not miss out on any big deals due to limited funds.
Some of the instances of Student Offers rolled out in 2020 were:
· Lenovo’s Student Discount offers you up to 20% off on laptops
· Amazon offered 50% off on Amazon Prime Membership Subscription for students
· SpiceJet provides up to 6% OFF on the Base fare for flight tickets for the economy class.
· Indigo is offering air tickets at the most pocket-friendly price to all the students out there.
· Vistara provides 10% student discount on base fare for Economy class.
· Expedia provides hotel discounts for college undergraduates and graduates for select hotels.
· You can save up to 20% on beauty services with Lakme Student Offer.
· Apply for financial aid, register for a course on Coursera, get 100% fee exemption
· Theme parks like Wonderla, Adlabs Imagica offer student concessions on entry tickets
5. Take care with credit cards: Credit card companies often lure students in with college-centric offers, such as the promise of free concert tickets or free college swag. However, in this world full of increasing cases of cybercrimes, one should be extra cautious about their credit card usage and keeping their passwords with them safely. In times where the Prime Minister’s twitter account can be hacked, nothing can be surely secure.
6. Set financial limits: You should all set financial limits to put a curb on your unnecessary spending habits. Set a limit say Rs.1500 spending per month and stop impulsive purchases. You can always bring nonperishable items from your home to buy only what is required to make a decent living.
7. Avoid full price textbooks: There are various online sites like Ebay, Chegg etc which offer second-hand books and notes for students so that they can study effectively without any money woes. And for that matter, you could even issue books from your library and study as per your convenience. After use, you can also seek to donate your books to someone in need
8. Protect personal information: Your personal information is your greatest asset, and protecting it is your utmost responsibility. Even if a minute confidential detail leaks, your whole personal data is at threat. Do not share your passwords with anyone, be it any close friend or acquaintance.