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How to Manage your Finances

posted by Sonal Agarwal


This is so far my most favorite topic, and I believe the most important one. Managing finances can be tough, especially when you’re in grad school as you’re constantly trying to balance expenses versus the numbers on your paycheck.

Here are some tips to help you out.

1. Always keep your needs first. Your wants can wait.

This is the first and the best tip, it works like a charm. The next time you go to the mall and pick up your favorite piece of jewelry, ask yourself, “Do I need it?” And you will always, trust me, always end up making the right decision. It may not look so convincing when you’re reading this article, but I want you to try it for yourself, and see how it works. It's magic!

2. List your expenses. (The most basic ones. I call them “Stuff I need to Survive.”)

Here is an example of monthly expenses.

Rent: $1,000, Utilities (Water/Electricity/Gas): $70, Phone Bill: $70, Food (Average $30 per day): $900, Personal (shopping/party/salon etc.): $900

Now, compare your expenses with your income and make necessary reductions wherever necessary. I would highly recommend getting the rent and your personal expenses down, so maybe it’s time to get yourself a roommate!

3. Have at least two bank accounts.

They could both be checking accounts, because banks usually have a set fee or certain requirements to open a saving account. Having multiple bank accounts will help you manage your finances, so you can save a percentage of your paycheck in one account, and try to survive on the funds in the other account.

These three tips have always worked for me, and I am more than positive they would work for you as well. Remember, the idea is not to deprive yourself of anything, but learning how to manage your finances early in life is key so you can get better at it with time. Also, don’t stop yourself from buying those skinny jeans you saw at the store yesterday. Well, maybe wait for them to go on sale! 

Topics: Student Advice, Inside Graduate Studies