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College is an exciting time for most people. During this time, people create experiences independent from their families. But, this independence comes with great responsibility. In college, individuals are forced to manage their lives properly. Apart from time management, proper handling of finances is one of the challenges worth learning from during this period.
Importance of frugal living
College is one of the best times to learn about frugal living and the benefits it brings to people who practice it. People who practice frugal living are intentional with their spending. They know how to prioritize needs over wants. Also, these people save and invest more than those who aren’t thrifty. Thus, those who practice frugality tend to have a more secure future.
Frugal living also teaches a person to have self-discipline. This characteristic is a fundamental lesson because it trains a person to execute the right life decisions. By being frugal, you’re not only fattening your savings account, but you’re also adding value to it. Read on to know how you can start a frugal life:
Budgeting is a crucial aspect of frugal living. It dictates your intentions with your finances. By making a budget plan, there’s a big possibility that you won’t incur debts since there will always be money for your needs. You’ll always have money for food, dormitory, and other necessary expenses. If you’re currently in debt, a budget plan will help you get out of it.
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Budgeting will also help you control past and future finances. If ever you exceed your spending limit, you’ll be aware of your mistakes since you have a record of your expenses. This way, you’ll learn from such spending mistakes and take control of your spending habits.
However, creating a budget plan is not enough. It would be best if you executed the budget plan for you to be successful in managing your money. It’s also essential to have a continuous strategy. Remember that frugal living is not a one-time budget execution. It’s composed of routine actions to achieve your financial goals.
The 50/30/20 Rule
This rule is a renowned financial guide. According to the 50/30/20 guide, you can only spend 50% of your monthly allowance on needs. This aspect includes food, dormitory, utilities, and school supplies. 30% of your money can be spent on wants. Wants include shopping, dining, and leisure expenses. You can allocate 30% of your allowance on movie tickets or spa vouchers to treat yourself. Lastly, 20% of your money should be allotted to savings or debt payment.
The 80/20 Rule
Some people, especially those who are new to budgeting or those who do not have enough money, experience difficulty following the 50/30/20 rule. In such instances, the 80/20 guide is useful. According to this rule, you can spend 80% of your monthly allowance on anything and allocate 20% of it on savings. But, be sure to put primacy on your needs when following this rule. It is also worth noting that 20 is the minimum percentage that must be allotted to savings. When you become familiar with budgeting, you can increase this percentage and build a more secure future.
Evaluate your purchases
Frugal living does not constitute buying cheap things or availing affordable services. It’s essential to evaluate the cost of an object and its quality. You must opt for the cheaper alternative if you have already compared their conditions. As long as the more affordable item or service offers nearly the same features, choose the affordable option for you to save money.
In college, different subjects require different books, and these textbooks are costly. Students can practice frugality by buying used textbooks. You can purchase these books on online stores such as Amazon and AbeBooks. Aside from these stores, you can also watch out for an on-campus bookstore that sells used references. Be attentive to details such as publication date and edition when buying used books. You have to be sure that these books match your professors’ required references.
Aside from books, you can also invest in a durable coffeemaker to help you through mornings and study nights. In this way, you can avoid spending on overpriced coffee in nearby cafes. You’ll be surprised if you add up the savings due to purchasing a coffeemaker.
Earn extra income
Part of frugal living is decluttering. By decluttering, you can save space and earn extra income. Decluttering helps you distinguish between beneficial things and those that are not. Selling used items is also good for the environment. People who buy your items can upcycle those things.
With the help of technology, selling has become hassle-free. You can list them on Facebook Marketplace and eBay. It is helpful to present your products appealingly. In this way, you can attract buyers from online marketplaces.
Apply for scholarships
Incredibly, most universities and private institutions offer scholarships. These grants are of great help in your frugal living. Scholarships also help you avoid a significant amount of student loans. Aside from this benefit, education grants also help students improve their performance. Since a grant takes away most of your financial burden, you’ll have more time to focus on academic responsibilities.
Well-made essays and curriculum vitae are standard requirements of scholarship applications. It’s crucial to be updated regarding deadlines and other conditions when applying for a grant. You can also check websites of companies that are related to your chosen field since they post scholarships in their sites. For instance, the Cyrus Artisan Rugs Scholarship Grant offers free tuition and book fees (worth $500) for a student majoring in Interior Design.
It’s possible to enjoy college life while being frugal. Frugality will help you live a quality and secure life. These are just some tips to help you achieve your financial goals. You are free to create financial programs that are suitable for your experiences.
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