As a student, your financial situation can feel like a controlling factor. But it doesn’t have to hold you back. Though finances can determine many of your decisions, there are ways to live comfortably within a budget that works for you. And while it’s tempting to look to your friends and neighbors to “keep up” with the latest trends, as a student, this could be harmful to your financial health, not to mention how it adds unnecessary pressure.
There are significant financial and emotional benefits to living within your means. This involves spending less than your monthly income, as well as creating a budget for yourself and living within that threshold.
Money Tips You Can Follow
Budgeting and being mindful of what you spend may always seem easier in theory than in practice. Try these quick tips to get you started:
Don’t stress about keeping up.
The first step to financial satisfaction is to free yourself from the notion of keeping up with others, whether it is your friend, family member, or neighbor. Once you rid yourself of the burden of keeping up with others, you can begin to keep up with yourself. Start by recognizing that planning for the future will make you more content with the present.
Try backward budgeting.
Start with your income and subtract all your expenses. If you are left with a positive number, use that number to add to savings and cut down on debt. If you are left with a negative number, try the plug and play method. Subtract from your unnecessary expenses and add to your necessary expenses. For example, add to your grocery budget by subtracting from the amount used to eat out. The goal is to have more money coming in than going out.
Save up for midsize purchases.
Setting aside funds for things like new phones, shoes or clothes can prevent you from using credit cards, and help you appreciate the purchases even more. Remembering how much you saved for the purchase can help you cherish and take care of that item for a longer time.
- How to Successfully Live Within Your Means
- The Happiness Spending Threshold and What It Really Means to Live Within Your Means
Finding Your Financial Success
Financial success is no easy task, and difficult to define. It can take years of hard work and discipline to reach a place where you are financially comfortable. You can start your journey to your version of financial success with these three steps:
- Come up with a firm financial goal.
You won’t be able to work toward a financial goal until you define a dollar amount. If you are focusing on retirement, come up with a number that you want to save or a milestone to reach. Aimlessly saving money without a plan will make you less motivated to save. In turn, you will lose drive and need to revise, or refocus your goal.
- Take accountability for your actions.
Being accountable for your finances means taking ownership of any mistakes you make. The only way to prevent future mistakes is to recognize that you were the cause of the mistake and that you can prevent the next mistake. Feeling sorry for yourself or dwelling on things that don’t go your way will only be harmful to you successfully moving forward.
- Have a financial date night.
Talking about your expenses and budget doesn’t have to be boring. Create a fun night with friends and family where the main goal is to discuss solutions to your money goals and budget. You can even make this a monthly occurrence and celebrate your wins for the month.
Other Helpful Resources
- 4 Small Steps to Make You Feel Better About Your Finances Right Now
- Seven Quick Hacks to Set Yourself Up for Financial Success
The Value of a Calm Mind
Many adults spend a lot of time worrying about finances. Being satisfied with your current and future financial situation means stressing less about your dollars.
Spending hours dwelling on situations that you can’t change can cause harm to your mental health. Here are some tips to help calm your mind:
Worry less, plan more.
Thinking about your finances is different than worrying about your finances. Consider planning and strategizing about the future instead of worrying about what might happen. When money is on your mind, try to think of an action plan instead of obsessing over any obstacles in the way.
Focus on the facts.
Winning the lottery is very unlikely. When you stay focused on the facts at hand, rather than scenarios that won’t likely happen, you are more likely to make real progress. Unexpected things happen. There is no way to predict them, so worrying about things before they go wrong is wasting valuable time and energy that could be spent toward planning.
Count your blessings.
Spend more time thinking about the things you have, rather than the things you want. When you focus your energy on gratitude, you will spend less time worrying and open your heart for new opportunities to come your way. Accepting what you have and thinking about the positives in your life can help to redirect negative thoughts.
- You Shouldn’t Go Through Life Worrying About Money. It’s Not Healthy
- How to Stop Worrying About Money
- Stop Worrying About Money
UMA knows that many students juggle work and family life while going to school. That’s why we have a built-in support system. Our Learner Services Advisors are here for you. Call 888-216-0544. We encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
UMA Cares handles important student issues that may need to be addressed with special attention. UMA Cares takes all inquiries seriously and responds in a timely manner. Visit UltimateMedical.edu/uma-cares/ to make your voice heard.
UMA Wellness Center
Stay tuned to the UMA Wellness Center for new blog posts! Wellness is incredibly important to your studies and your overall health. UMA is committed to providing you and your household with access to wellness resources. You and your household can use these resources to work toward your health and wellbeing!
UMA does not endorse any vendors, products, or services presented in the UMA Wellness Blog Series, and UMA bears no responsibility in any capacity as it relates to such vendors, products, or services. The information on wellness or related services is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional financial advice. Please contact the vendor or service provider for answers to questions regarding its content, products, or services.