I’m not entirely sure if I’m the only one who experienced it but at the beginning of the week, the world was – to put mildly – perfect. I walked outside my hostel that morning with a smile on my face. The sky was a little bluer. The sun smiled back down at me. The birds sang happily and the trees were a little greener. Everyone seemed to be happy and the whole world seemed in perfect harmony.
I made my way to the ATM and after waiting in line for a few minutes, it was my turn. I pulled out my card, inserted it into the machine, typed my pin and followed the prompts until I got my money. After taking out my card, with my money in hand, I walked out of the bank. I pulled out my wallet and neatly placed my card inside it.
“Ahh, it is good to have money in this life.” I said to myself as I folded the two #500 notes I’d just withdrawn into my previously empty wallet.
I walked to a small store just before going to class to get an exotic, cool drink to soothe my parched throat.
“Keep the change.” I said to the salesgirl as I opened the sachet of pure water. I was on top of the world and nothing could bring me down.
That was at the beginning of the week. I’m broke now and I’m thinking of all the possible ways to make garri sweet and enough to last me for twenty four hours without passing out. This… this is why I wrote this article. Because being broke is unhealthy, a crime, maybe even a sin.
How to manage your finances as a student:
1. Create and Organize Your Budget
At the beginning or end of every month for most of us, allowance comes in. It’s the only “time of the month” girls actually accept with all joy and happiness and it’s the time when boys actually read text messages. It could be from your parents or from your job or maybe interest from the money you’ve got in the bank. Regardless, you are a few thousand naira richer every now and then during the year just before you go on a spending spree and blow everything like a well functioning ceiling fan.
When the money comes in as such, my suggestion is to calm down. Make a budget. I personally only withdraw a certain amount of money per week at the beginning of the week and I budget how that money gets spent per day. That way I am able to control my spending and even have a little extra for rainy days.
2. Transfer Savings As Soon As Allowance Comes In
If you’re anything like me, I can say that there have been times when you wanted to save money. You would tell yourself and you would tell your friends and go through all that stress of even thinking up a strategy but when the time comes to save, like smoke from an exhaust pipe (which in some cases looks like some unilag students), your money is gone with the wind.
One of the best ways to solve this problem is to transfer the money you intend to save to another location as soon as your total allowance comes in. I have two accounts. One with an ATM and one without. When money comes in, I transfer to the one without an ATM card and I know that “yes, I won’t spend this money… yet.”
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3. Avoid Borrowing
If you’ve been following my writing from infancy, you would understand where I’m going with this because I’ve made a point like this in the past. If however, you haven’t, well, lemme explain to you.
You spend your money unnecessarily on all the most pointless things I can possibly think of. Fake it till you make it so every night, you buy #1000 food as an aspiring Dangote when #200 food will fill you up quite nicely. You go and borrow from your friend because you don fuck up. It’s fine. They borrow you. Three days later, you’re still two weeks away from your next allowance. Haha. You know what to do.
When the allowance eventually comes in, you’re owing half the amount of money you were sent. You pay it back but because of that, you’re broke again in less than two weeks. I’m assuming my point has made itself.
4. Cut Costs Where Necessary/Possible
A lot of the time, after receiving
scheme of work course outline from lecturers, at the bottom you would see tons of recommended texts. You have to buy at least one of them otherwise you would bang the course like some comparison I’m not sure I should make. Spending your hard earned #2000 is good but it’s not the wisest decision. There are a number of ways you can get knowledge without spending too much money. You could buy it at a reduced cost from a senior who has used it before or you could check for the soft copy at the National Open University of Nigeria. That way, you’ll save money and gain knowledge.
Apart from that is transportation. Don’t be chasing uber up and down when you can carry bike like your ancestors did or when you can trek. Don’t be a lazy, fat fish biko. Spend your money wisely. The point isn’t limited to the two examples I gave. Think of ways you can spend less but still get as much quality. Unless you want to be mixing garri and three spoons of water so that it’ll rise and fill you up.
5. Don’t Spend To Impress
This is less of a student issue and more of a general societal issue. See ehn, let me tell you something. That your crush that you’re spending money to impress, they don’t like you back. When you become broke, they’ll probably like you less. That fine boy/fine girl that you think is looking at you because of one overpriced wristwatch you’re wearing is actually thinking of how to remove their underwear from their bumbum. It has nothing to do with you.
Stop spending unnecessarily to impress people who don’t give a crap about you.
ConclusionNone of these methods are 100% foolproof but they’re a start if you want to actually manage yourself. Being broke as a student is a horrible thing especially when you’ve tired out your sources of income. Think and spend wisely today and at least try to avoid being broke. Garri and palm oil doesn’t taste so nice. Trust me.
- Did you enjoy the article?
- What other ways do you think students can save their money?
- What’s that thing that you spend on that takes your money like a thief in the night?