We all handle money differently. I remember when I attended the first session of a financial management class and the speaker asked random people why they were attending the class. The responses varied from I cannot keep money in my pocket to my parents made me attend to learn how to save. From that you can tell that there are no rules on how to make and spend money, however, I feel there is one aspect we all have to accept which is living within your means. We are all from different backgrounds and our circumstances vary.
I think campus sets the tone for many people on how they manage their funds. Some people have the chance to get HELB loans while others have to survive on what their parents can give. Campus is a place where you are given money for upkeep and nobody will follow up on whether you bought the food or the books you asked for. Campus is also a place where people tend to live beyond their means because of the pressure to look a certain way or own certain things. You will tend to want to fulfil a few expectations of a certain lifestyle that is beyond your means with the little you have.. This is the point you hear people spending their fees ongoing out with friends and the issue of having sponsors to give them the material things they can’t afford.
Life would be so much easier if you live within your means. Of course people occasionally splurge, which is acceptable, but I feel it is not worth it to try impress others because you will later realize that people actually don’t care. When you will be in debt the people you tried to impress won’t help you. Financial literacy is very important. I came to learn that yes saving is good, but you can also invest to make your money grow. I also learnt that when you are young you can afford to take more risks because you have fewer responsibilities.
I am all about saving, but I can also splurge in equal measure, which is something I have learnt to control over the few years. I remember this one time I really wanted a wig. I saw one on an online page, asked if it was available and decided to go to the shop a few weeks later to get it. Sadly when I went there the stock was over so I went back home and decided to give myself a few more months before I get it and six months later I got the wig. I am not a patient person but I didn’t want to make impulse purchases. I have also saved a lot for other items by making small sacrifices like making fries for myself instead of buying, leaving the house when I am full to avoid buying snacks and accounting for every shilling when I am going to run errands. There are other items I have also just bought on impulse and I had to find a way to balance my books. I once bought a pair of heels which was unplanned for and that month I had to eat what was in the house, only spent on veggies and cut on the amount of credit I used just to cover up. So it is not always easy to say I will have this now or let me wait till a later date but it helps to be conscious of where you are financially.
To all the ladies. With all these stories about sponsors and ladies being portrayed as desperate, all I can say is learn to live within your means. You can still get that handbag and pair of heels by saving up for it. You don’t have to rush to live a certain lifestyle. Just work hard to get some stuff for yourself. There is usually a certain feeling you have when you know how much effort you put in getting something for yourself.