The first step to financial freedom is managing your finances. To do this, you need to live as close as possible to the “student lifestyle” while still managing your money wisely. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 ways that you can have your cake and eat it too by balancing both of these aspects of life!
1. Track your spending
The easiest way to start managing your finances is by tracking your spending. This can be done manually with a pencil and paper, or through the use of apps like “mint” or Quicken to keep track of your spending each month. This will help you identify where your money is going and help you make a plan to cut back on wasteful expenditures.
If you have a partner/spouse, make sure they are aware and involved in this process! It is very easy for one person to overspend without the other knowing about it.
By tracking your spending, you will also be able to identify the areas where it makes sense for you to spend more in order to save time or improve your quality of life. For example, if everyone in your family prefers to take out over making dinner at home each night, it may be worth spending the money on a meal delivery service that will allow you to eat healthier each night without having to cook.
Once you have identified where all of your money is going, I recommend creating three separate accounts for saving, spending, and giving. This way, if there are ever any extra dollars left over at the end of the month, you will have a place to put them that is separate from your everyday spending.
P.S: Be honest with yourself! If you are constantly spending more money than you have, it is time to re-evaluate your budget and make some changes.
2. Plan for the future by saving money now
Once you have identified where your money is going, it’s time to start saving some of that hard-earned cash for the future! If possible, I recommend setting up an automatic transfer from each paycheck into these separate spending, saving, and giving accounts. This way there will be no temptation to spend extra dollars on something frivolous because they are already gone!
For example, if the bulk of your money goes to student loans and rent each month I recommend putting as much money as you can into a savings account for unexpected expenses. This way when that inevitable car repair or sewer backup happens in the future, you will have some extra cash to help cover those costs!
In addition to saving for unforeseen expenses, it is also important to save for retirement. Even if you are starting your career late in life, it is never too late to start saving for retirement!
3. Make sure to maintain good credit so you can buy things in the future
One of the benefits of living like a student is that you will likely have a good credit score when it comes time to buy a car or a house. This is important because your credit score can dictate how much money you will be able to borrow for big purchases in the future.
To maintain a good credit score, I recommend always paying your bills on time, keeping your credit card balance low, and not opening too many new accounts at once. If you are ever struggling to make ends meet, it is ok to call your creditors and ask for a lower interest rate or payment plan that works for you.
4. Find ways to make extra money, like getting paid to take surveys or freelance work on the side
It is never a bad idea to make some extra money on the side, and there are many legitimate ways to do so.
You can sign up to take surveys for money on sites like SurveyMonkey.
If you would prefer not to work outside of your current job, you could also try signing up to be a mystery shopper or start an online store and sell your own crafts online.
Finally, if you are interested in earning some serious money on the side, consider looking for ways to make money as a freelancer. I recommend checking out sites like Upwork or Fiverr, where you can apply as a contractor and provide your services to clients all over the world.
You can start a blog and monetize it with ads or affiliate links.
The possibilities are endless! Just be sure to research any opportunity before signing up so that you know what you’re getting into.
5. Get rid of debt as soon as possible – it will help you save more and spend less money in the long run!
One of the best things you can do for your wallet is to get rid of any debt you may have. This will help you save more money in the long run because you will no longer have to pay interest on your loans!
To get started, I recommend creating a budget and sticking to it as closely as possible. If needed, create a separate account for each loan and deposit any extra cash you have into that specific account. This way, the interest rates on your loans will not start to pile up, making it harder in the future to pay off what you owe!
It may take some time, but eventually, you will be debt-free and able to start saving for your future!
It’s not easy to balance both the “student lifestyle” and financial responsibility, but it is possible. You just have to figure out your priorities so that you can live accordingly. The key is finding a healthy middle ground between spending extravagantly on things like eating out or going for drinks with friends while also living frugally by cooking more meals at home, shopping in thrift stores instead of buying new clothes, etc.; all these tips will give you freedom from worrying about money. What are some ways you’ve found success balancing your “student lifestyle” with managing your finances? Let me know!