5 Smart Ways to Stay Financially Disciplined as a Uni Undergrad
Congratulations! You’ve made it through mid-term. Assignments are piling on. Deadlines taunting you from your calendar. Some of you have your lifeline attached to caffeinated beverage to catch up with all these commitments. You are way behind from your k-drama series. It doesn’t help that your expenditures are inching upwards as the semester passes by and became financially strained.
Unless you are one of the lucky ones from University Utara Malaysia (UUM), the mid-term intensity is cushioned by RM 5 weekly treats from kiplePay starting this October and November.
Every week, kiplePay will reveal one of the students’ favourite merchants within the campus, and transfer RM 5 into the students’ kiplePay e-wallet, to spend on the nominated favourite merchant of the week. UUM pride itself as the first to adopt the cashless campus concept. All transactions within the campus are performed via cashless payment powered by kiplePay.
However, we don’t always receive a windfall like the UUM students. Thus, regardless if cash is going into the physical wallet or the e-wallet, as undergraduate students, we are advised to discipline ourselves in FIVE simple ways when handling our own personal finance.
1. Spend on Needs
By definition, a need is something necessary in order for us to live a healthy life. For example, when you have a closet filled with clothes to its brim, you really don’t need another shirt the next time you’re at the mall. You will need to judge which type of expenditure is a need. Check all your subscriptions, how often do you use them, and if they are really necessary for the livelihood of your healthy life?
Discipline our desire of wanting. If you find yourself in the situation of an impulse buying, take a step back and think of what else you could use the money for instead of buying another shirt or another pair of shoes.
2. Allocate your budgets
Start with tracking your current month’s cash-outgoings. Evaluate which are the ones that are necessary and allocate a budget to it. Therefore, before you start a budget, you need to understand your own spending behaviour and how you plan to utilise the funds.
3. Put aside money for rainy days
As the saying goes, “We’ll never know what comes next”. It is crucial that we set aside a portion of our funds for rainy days every month. We can even start at RM 5 a month. For example, with extra RM 5 into kiplePay e-wallet every week for two months. As a UUM student, I could save up to RM 40 in October and November. It doesn’t matter how small the amount is, as long as we cultivate the habit to put aside a portion for rainy days.
4. Set saving goals
Other than saving for rainy days, set yourself saving goals when you are prone to be financially inapt. For instance, saving for down payment for a house, car, or maybe even higher education. These are big-ticket items and you may feel a little overwhelmed. Good news is, you can always start small and be realistic to your situation. “Sikit-sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit”, the Malay proverb that we can loosely translate as bit by bit, soon it will pile up to a mountain high.
5. Look out for deals!
Just like UUM students, life can be quite merciful at times. We just need to keep an eye out and we will find discounts and deals where we can save more money. They can be found in newspapers, magazines, online newsletters, in the supermarkets and many more. Make use of it and don’t miss out.
In a nutshell, as undergrads, there is no better time but now to start discipline ourselves financially. Having said that, it is imperative to manage our own personal finances diligently, understanding our own necessary expenditures over our desire of wanting. Thereafter, we can start allocating a budget and stick with it. Make sure to also apportion the funds for rainy days and saving goals. Lastly, keep an eye out for discount vouchers and deals to save more. All the best in becoming financially disciplined!!