One of the hardest things to control as a first-year is how much money you spend. If you are like me and love to spend money on outings with your mates, then it can be pricier than you think! But, resisting the urges to spend is probably a huge struggle, especially as a student living on campus.
While I love to spend money on makeup, clothes, and food, you know, the usual… I find myself wallowing in self-pity for not being more careful about my spending habits. The process follows that I find something I really want, I buy it and then I feel incredibly guilty for spending money I earned, on me! (This usually happens while tears flow past my cheeks into my food while taking a bite).
I grew up with parents who constantly lectured me about the process of money, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t hear the infamous phrase ‘money does not grow on trees…’ (I don’t know if this is a thing, but Asian parents feel like they lose a limb after seeing your bank statement). But I can’t help my feelings when I think; why was I not warned about this beforehand? Should I be angry at myself? Should I be angry at the education system for not properly teaching me the correct ways to save? Now, call me a hypocrite but I regularly save the money that I earn from my part-time job, but it is a huge difficulty walking past these freshly changed mannequins holding items that are to die for! So, did school or whatever qualifications beforehand fail to notify us of the proper way to use our money? (I still wait for the day where we use Pythagoras theorem, rather than how to divide your earnings for the month, let alone saving it)
As a first-year student, spending has been a regular difficulty. You meet people who have money to eat out every night, and then there are those who struggle to find new reasons to cover the fact that they are a little short for that meal out. I don’t blame you. But, I am doubtful as to whether all these tips and tricks we see are actually helpful to saving money. Oh, and most importantly, parents are no help either with their constant ‘you are gonna screw up’ faces or stern voices that you would rather drown out because you already have enough problems to begin with. It is a vicious cycle. I mean, don’t get me wrong, budgeting comes easier to me as I can calculate if I have money for that meal out or that fabulous new (probably 8th) pair of jeans. However, this is a struggle for many others especially dividing the money you need to pay rent for your room on campus and to sort out food so you don’t die at the end of the week. This budgeting and saving, is it really worth it in the long run?
The thing is, being a student comes with new difficulties but money definitely tops that. I can’t help but wish we had a crash course in saving our money, or whether saving our money is even worth it. I mean, we want to live the next three years without regrets so who gives a damn about budgeting? I’m sure this is a question on most students’ minds.
Nonetheless, like all periods of our lifetime, student life has never lived up to its glamorous name (as I have been saying in the past few issues) during my first-year in QMUL, but it has taught me skills I definitely couldn’t learn elsewhere, especially with money. So, have fun with your money while it lasts, but when you’re skint, it’s a struggle to force yourself not to buy anything, especially when it gives you happiness (we all know I am talking about food…).
Remember, if you are in need of some help to manage your money, talk to someone on campus, I’m sure there are people for that. Meanwhile, spend wisely!