Today in Finland it’s quite obvious that when you are a young student you are poor. We are lucky to have the study grant system, so we get some money from government, but it means also that you have to concentrate on studying and it has limited how much money you can earn while withdrawing grant. That is why it’s very important for students to know how to save money and manage to live with small income.
Although I am a student I have managed financially very well every month and never had to borrow money from my parents, boyfriend or friends since I moved to live on my own. I even have a surplus at the end of each month and I am able to pay my credit card off in full each month. That makes me a saver. (Levene 2011, p.18.) I am sure it is because I was raised to lead a frugal life and because of that I am very careful with my money. Now I will share my manners how to survive financially during studies.
Firstly, I work along studies. That means I get a salary every month, so my income is not limited to the study grant (and ridiculously small) housing allowance. Although I do not have huge income, I try to save everything I can and invest. I withdraw a student loan that I usually deposit on my home saving bonus account but also on other savings accounts. I also have invested in shares that give me income from capital as dividends and usually a profit if I sell them. The reason why I have been interested in bearing accounts and particularly in shares is the fact that as we all know money today is worth more than money tomorrow.
Unfortunately for me, I also have expenses such as living costs, bills and the rent. I’m lucky that there is someone who pays half on everything, so it helps a lot.
The basic personal financial rule is “spend less than you earn” (Trent, The Simple Dollar 2014). How do I then save money in the everyday life? I am careful with my money particularly what comes to shopping. At stores I usually think hundred of times “do I really need this piece of clothing or this expensive bag or those shoes of which I already have three similar pairs”. Usually eighty times out of one hundred, my answer for the question is “no, I do not” and amazing clothes, bags and shoes leave in store. I am also lucky that my sister is a hairdresser, so it means I do not have to pay a million euros to hairdresser servicers and products. To sum up everything in one sentence: I am careful with my money and fortunately my sister has chosen her vocational field right.
People usually also spend a lot of money on food. I usually try to choose the cheapest brands and products. I prefer to prepare food myself than dine out. When I am really short of money I usually end up dining at my parents’ home.
In my opinion by making rational decisions students can manage their finances although income is small. I also encourage people to save and invest. That is how I have managed very well so far.
Levene, Tommy 2011. Investing for dummies®: portable edition. Chichester, Wiley. https://www.ellibslibrary.com/helmet/978-1-119-97467-3. Read October 07, 2014.
Trent 2014. Rule #1: Spend Less Than You Earn. The Simple Dollar. Last updated September 05, 2014. http://www.thesimpledollar.com/rule-1-spend-less-than-you-earn/. Read October 07, 2014.