Managing your personal finances is one of the skills you should master by the time you’re a working professional. Starting to learn about personal finance early on can give you a much-needed head start and help you act responsibly with your money. This is why students are the perfect candidates for learning about financial management strategies.
Students have different sources of income and expenses that they must learn how to control. From part-time jobs, loans, student debt, taxes, and rent, there’s a lot to handle there. This article breaks down the top 5 financial management strategies that every student needs to know. Let’s get started.
1. Budget Tracking
The number one strategy for managing your personal finances as a student is to learn how to track your budget. Spending your money as you receive it without knowing your monthly money flow can be extremely reckless. This is why you need to learn about your budget.
To keep track of your budget, create and organize a budget tracker that will contain:
all sources of income, e.g., part-time job, scholarship, allowance
all regular monthly expenses, e.g., rent, food, transportation
additional expenses, e.g., hobbies, activities, socializing
Don’t forget to list unexpected expenses each month as well. Maybe you have a big paper coming up that you can’t write on your own. I’d look online for someone to write my paper for me cheap, and make sure I put it in my budget tracker.
Once you have it all written down, you’ll be able to plan better.
2. Savings Plan
Next, students need to figure out how to set aside a small portion of their money every month. This doesn't have to be a huge sum, but it should be something that will make you feel safe after a couple of months of saving up.
So, decide what the figure is going to be. Think of some current expenses you could eliminate to make room for this change and be determined in your financial goal.
Prioritizing where you spend, shopping carefully, and utilizing student discounts are just some of the ways to make it happen.
3. Payments Discipline
Another important strategy for managing your finances responsibly is to develop and maintain payment discipline. This refers to keeping track of all the bills and payments that come your way. Knowing that 55% of all students have a student loan, plus all the other regular expenses like housing, utilities, and tuition- payments discipline is a must.
Why is this important?
Because late, delayed, or forgotten payments lead to:
increased interest rates
This can harm your budget significantly and increase your monthly expenses unnecessarily. So, stay disciplined in paying all the bills that come your way.
4. Free Resources
Students need to walk the extra mile to learn about the free resources that are available to them. There are tons of things that students can do for less or no money if only they find the available student discounts, campus options, and other perks.
Typically, students can find discounts and free resources like:
student discounts for cinemas, theaters, museums, galleries
discounts on educational software programs
free on-campus fitness options
free educational lectures and workshops
So, instead of paying the full price of paying for these services at all, students just need to dig around a bit and find affordable options instead.
5. Financial Apps
Finally, let’s not forget the power of technology. Today’s students are lucky enough to have financial apps and tools that can help them keep track of all the finances they need to manage, and perfect these vital skills.
You can use something as simple as Mint, one of the most popular apps for finance tracking. It’ll help you keep all your finance records in one place and always know where you stand with your money.
Students who invest in learning how to manage their finances are investing in their future. This skill is essential in all stages of life, and the sooner you develop the habit of tracking your budget, the better you'll get over time. The 5 key strategies we’ve shared above are more than enough to get you started. Start using them ASAP and get a hold of your personal finances.