Tips to manage your personal finances
Tips to manage your personal finances
  • 민 주 기자
  • 승인 2008.03.31 00:00
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As students enter university, most of them become busy trying to make money to add to their allowances by doing part-time jobs or giving private lessons. And with more money in their pockets, their level of freedom, in terms of where and how they can spend their money, also increases. But many freshmen who have just turned twenty, say they have trouble successfully managing their newly earned money. For these students who are budget-challenged, the Ewha Voice has assembled this set of money-saving tips.

Keep track of your budget

One way to manage our money that we all have heard of is keeping a simple daily account of expenses. "I did not know I spent so much money on food before I kept an account of my spending," said Moon So-ra (Physical Education, 3). Then, Moon decided to reduce by bringing water bottles to school rather than buying something to drink every day.

Nevertheless, keeping a budget can be hard. Professor Cha Eun-young (Economics) says that students are weak at restraining their consumption and saving money. Cha advises students to set a time span and consume according to the amount of money they have set for themselves in that time. "For example, a student has to decide how much clothes she is going to buy in one year, and divide it into how much she is going to buy each month," said Cha.

Look for bargains and savings

Students can utilize benefits provided by the school to reduce their consumption. Getting a band-aid from the Ewha Health Center, using the printing center at the first floor of the Student Union Center which allows students to print for free if students have paper to eating cheap lunches at the Student Cafeteria are all ways to avoid wasting money.

“I try to use coupons that I receive in front of the school. We should also take advantage of our position as students.” Park Bo-mee (International Studies, 3) who saves money from the earning she gets from private lessons to put in a fund every month. Park is also a member of DICE, an investment club at the Division of the International Studies, and has gained a return of up to 77 percent when it was the highest.

Kim Ji-hae (German Literature, 3) also takes advantage of discount offered by credit cards. “I receive discounts up to 30 percent or bonus points which can be used like money through my cards,” said Kim.

Professor Cha reminds students to do enough research for a good bargain. It is even more important to ask yourself whether you need to buy a particular item now. Then you can avoid buying out of impulse and regretting your decision.

Open an investment account

A simple way to avoid spending all of your earnings without careful planning is to make two or more bank accounts. " I use one to save up the money that I earned through private lessons or jobs, and the other for my allowance. That way, I can save money every month," said Chang Sang-A (English Literature, 3)

Some students have CMA (Cash Management Accounts) which is a way of depositing money and investing on a certain stock or bond. It is like any other bank account, but CMA have higher interest rates. Moon who also has a CMA bank account where she invests a small portion of her money each month, says that she is glad to have attained an economical mindset early. Students who are interested in making a CMA or investing in a fund can get more information by visiting a bank, after a thorough research.

Cha says engaging in financial technology and managing their own money can be a stimulus to students in the contemporary society. “However, a risk follows in a fund or an investment. The higher returns it provides, the more risky it is.” The profit gained from these stocks is not money actually attained by the student herself. Only when the earnings turn into cash is it safe to increase her consumption level. 

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