It is never too early to start learning how to manage your own finances. It is better to start when we are students. The environment we as students find ourselves in is often very conducive for saving. In this stage of our life, we tend to be a bit more frugal, bearing in mind that we don’t have the income to splurge on luxuries.
Start saving money
The most difficult part of any journey is taking the first step. Throw away all those excuses you’ve been telling yourself and just start putting aside money into your savings account. 10% of your monthly allowance is a good place to start. Whether the money is coming from your parents, or from a student loan, setting aside some extra money will do you a world of good. You can even use this pool of funds for emergency situations.
Track your expenses
Keeping track of your expenses is the next step to savvy savings. Once you have a clear idea of your spending habits and your monthly expenses, you will be able to better scrutinize them. Ask yourself if you really need that cup of Starbucks coffee, or if you really need to eat at that fancy restaurant. Track your monthly expenses and review them at the end of the month. Determine if these are wants or desires that you can cut down on. Make sure you are able to pay for your needs first, such as paying for yourhouse for rent in cyberjaya. Finally, put the wants and desires in third place, after paying for needs and setting aside for savings.
Take advantage of student perks
As a student, you can get discounts for almost anything and everything. For example, many public transport providers such as the KTM and RapidKLoffer student rates. Often, you can cut your public transportation costs in half by taking advantage of these student perks. Although these discounts might not amount to much in the short-term, it can add up to a large amount in the long-term. Just remember to bring your student ID wherever you go and be proactive enough to ask if students are eligible for discounts.
Get a part time job
If you have some goals you want to achieve, whether it is buying a new laptop or some new clothes, or you just don’t want to live with a limited budget, you can always get a part time job. This would of course increase your monthly income.
Set a spending limit and stick to it
Force yourself to be disciplined and frugal with your monthly spending. Split up your monthly budget accordingly. For example, put 20% of your budget to food with the remaining put towards other necessary expenses. You can even carve out more categories. However, be sure to remember to set a limit for each category. This keeps you in line and you will learn to give your money careful thought.