It seems the common phrase for many students these days is “sorry, can’t go out, I’m broke.” Our colored paper is slowly disappearing, if we were lucky enough to have some color to our cash flow in the first place. But where does it all go?
It’s once you take the time to figure this out that you can start trying to save.
Professor Perrakis, of Concordia’s finance department, says “planning your finances must start with budgeting: how much do you get every month and how much do you need to spend as a minimum, to keep yourself healthy and in good standing as a student?”
As you sit down on your bed and prepare to make a budget, you keep telling yourself “this year I will stay on budget.” These seem to be the hardest words to stick to, because you think you have it all planned out but in the end you
don’t have enough money.
As you pull out a clean piece of paper, the white sheet glistens under your fingers, you gently touch the tip of your freshly sharpened pencil and begin to write what expenses you plan on consuming for the week, the month.
As the expenses of rent, tuition, food, car, bus, telephone and other amenities, slowly begin to pile up on your list, you start to wonder if your cash flow will be enough to survive the year. Writing down all your expenses might seem like a hassle but it’s worth taking a few minutes to figure out how you’re going to get from here to there without an empty bank account.
Even if you do set out a budget for yourself, the problem might be that you underestimated your spending habits. But, regardless of where your money comes from, you probably haven’t given much thought to how it will all be spent.
Assuming that there will be enough to meet all your needs is a big mistake.
The steps to budgeting are simplified in four steps: (1) identify income sources, (2) list fixed (rent, tuition) and variable (entertainment, clothing) expenses, (3) find your discretionary income by subtracting your total expense from your total net income, (4) review and modify the plan in order to reduce
Students should develop the right spending habits and give their expenses good thought so students won’t have to take a loan from the bank or from Mom and Dad.
Concordia offers a variety of loans, which are available through the Financial Aids and Awards office.
Budgeting and spending your money wisely does not mean working yourself down to the last pint of blood – it is a matter of setting goals for where most of your money will be spent.
Some important factors to consider when doing a budget is to be honest. This means committing to record every expense. Be thorough in evaluating your income and your expenses.
Professor Perrakis suggests the best way not to go broke is to follow Micawber’s equation: spending less than you get from your various sources of income equals happiness.