Are you a spendthrift? Tsh Oxenreider, a popular writer and podcaster once said budget is telling your money where to go. As a student, the best way to ensure you live within your means is to have a spending plan where you spend less on your lifestyle than you generate in earnings. Living on a budget as a student is very important.
Everything is likely to go on more smoothly when you plan and budgeting is no different. As a student, you have needs and wants. The needs are things you must have to survive. Examples are shelter (hostel or dormitory), food, and security. On the other hand, the wants are things you can live without, expenses that make you live more comfortably in school. Examples are laptop, smartphone, wristwatch, tablets, video games, etc
Being a student is not all about having fun or getting to meet new people in school but more importantly, learning to be responsible for your own life especially if you are in Senior High School or a tertiary institution where you live alone or with your colleagues in a hostel or dormitory, hence, the need for learning about living on a budget as a student.
Living alone comes with so many challenges and it is more complicated when you are a student. You are in charge of your own life, you do what pleases you and sometimes when you are unable to manage your finances properly, it can make your life on campus very difficult.
Living on a budget as a student
Having a budget plan will not only guide you on how to spend your money but rather, enable you to cultivate the habit of saving. In this article, we are going to discuss some ways you can live on your budget as a student.
Students budgeting tips
- Plan your budget
- Avoid unnecessary expenses
- Save, Save, Save
Planning your budget
As said earlier, everything is likely to go on more smoothly when you plan. First of all, you must note your income, which is the amount of money you receive. Again, you should take note of how these monies are received whether weekly or monthly. By knowing this, you are better off planning how to use the money you receive judiciously.
I will advise that you specify the amount of money you will spend in a day, in a week and in a month as well. Most students are unable to follow this plan as they find it difficult to stick to what they say due to one reason or the other. Let’s say, it is in your budget to spend at least Ghc10.00 a day, try your best to consciously follow your budget by spending the said amount. It is unwise to imitate your colleagues spending habits not knowing their income, especially when living on a budget as a student.
You must always remember to live in your means, remembering who you are and the family you are coming from. Never impress your colleagues by creating a false impression about yourself, trying to become what you are not. Be content with what you have and plan your budget.
READ ALSO: Tips On Saving And Making Money In School
Avoid unnecessary expenses
As a student, being in school is different from being at home. At home, you eat from the house and don’t spend too much money on food. You don’t pay rent, water bills, and light bills. Your parents take care of all these and so you are able to save enough money from the monies you receive. In school, the narrative is different because you are on your own.
Sometimes, you will have to pay for rent, water bills, and light bills which are all from the small amount of money you receive from your parents as a token to make your life on campus easy. If you are fortunate to come from a rich or average home, you are sometimes a little relieved because your bills will be taken care of but if you are not, you will have to avoid unnecessary expenses to keep the money for what you need most.
You must consciously avoid buying unneeded clothes, shoes, expensive smartphones, expensive wristwatches, expensive perfumes, expensive wigs, and many other wants that you don’t need. Buying these expensive items is so unnecessary because you only wear them to look flashy and in the end, gain nothing. You are advised to desist from unnecessary expenses that rob you of monies you could have saved for future plans when living on a budget as a student.
READ ALSO: 8 Simple Ways to Trim Unnecessary Spending
Save, Save, Save
One of the most successful American investors of all time, Warren Buffett once said, do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. This quote clearly shows the importance of saving. Although students are not given much for their upkeep, they can still save from the little amount of money they receive.
Do not spend all your money on food, clothes, smartphones, and other luxury items or gadgets you do not need. Cut off some expenses and save towards unexpected occurrences in the future.
Let’s say you have received Ghc100.00 for your upkeep for a month, what you can do is to plan how much money you are going to spend in a week, some few items you will need to buy and then calculate the cost to know how much money you can save.
You must bear in mind that no matter how small your income may be, as a student, you can still save. Sometimes, it is not the amount you save that matters but your ability to consistently save from the little amount of money you receive.
If you are able to cultivate this habit of saving from the little you have, you will always have money to cater for so many things on campus when the need arises.
Tithing is a biblical term that implies that, as a Christian, you are supposed to give 10 percent of your increase or profit to support the work of God. As a Christian, tithing is your act of faith to give back to God knowing that he owns all that you have and that it is he who blesses the handiwork of man.
The concept of a tithe is derived from the bible, according to Leviticus 27:30, “A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord’s, and is holy.” and Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” What these scriptures are saying is to give a portion, specifically a tenth, of whatever you make, including your income back to God. And firstfruits is just a biblical way of saying you are giving to God first before you do anything else with your money.
Although you don’t earn much in school, but, as a Christian, you are still encouraged to cultivate the habit of always paying your tithes and firstfruits knowing that it is your act of faith and commitment to God whom you love. There are countless testimonies of tithing by students who are faithful in paying their tithes and always encourage their colleagues to be faithful in tithing because there are blessings you gain from it.
Don’t only spend and save money but also learn to tithe and experience mind-blowing testimonies while in school. If others have done it, you can also start or continue if you are already a tither.
READ ALSO: The Art of Giving
It is said that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Giving is so important because it can open unexpected doors. As a Christian, you are expected to always give because God continuously gives to us.
Giving is also a biblical according to 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 “ Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. This scripture clearly tells us that God commends a cheerful giver and encourages us to give as our act of love.
Being a student does not exempt you from giving to your church in school or supporting the ministry work on campus. It is an opportunity to be blessed by God because you care about his work. Most students who follow their Christian principles by being committed to the things of God on campus give countless testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Be encouraged to give and be blessed in diverse ways.
READ ALSO: THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING TO GOD
Use A Finance App
There are a lot of apps that can help you track your income and expenditure while also being able to budget with the application. We will recommend downloading this app as it is very useful. Download PayMaster
To summarize what we have discussed so far regarding living on a budget as a student, I would say it is very necessary for you to plan as a student, save and avoid unnecessary expenses. Do not impress your colleagues by living a luxury life you cannot afford, by saying so implies that you live within your means to save money for what you need most and also for unexpected occurrences in the future. Again, do not ignore your Christian values but rather practice tithing and giving which is your act of love and commitment to God whom you love.