Becoming a financially responsible student

By Joyce Wachuka

Managing your finances as a student is an important life skill every student should have. Such knowledge is not like a high school chemistry lesson that may or may not be applicable later in life. Developing good decision-making skills when it comes to your money is something that can be practiced as soon as you learn it till the day you die. With more students starting up local businesses in the locale, learning how to be financially responsible and grow one’s finances as well is a skill any student interested in the state of their financial pockets should learn.

The world changed after COVID-19, on a medical level as well as financial. Currently in Kenya, inflation is on the rise which means that the cost of living is also on the rise. Between the increased costs in fuel, as well as everyday items, it has become clear that without good financial practices, everyday living may be increasingly difficult for the working man let alone a university student.

It is thus imperative for students to learn and apply good financial practices as early as now. It not only betters their chance for a more secure financial future, but also ensures that students learn to make good financial choices as early as now.

One could wonder what the consequence would be for not learning how to manage and grow their finances. In all honesty there is a possibility that nothing may change, life may continue just as it had before, supported either by your guardian or by yourself. However, that may not always be the case. By not learning how to manage your finances, one can be led down the treacherous road of irresponsible money handling such as frivolous spending, gambling as well as forming a good rapport with your local loan shark.

So where should one start? Well for one if you have your local loan shark on speed dial you should delete their contacts. The first step would be to assess your current financial state this includes your current income streams and expenditures. Know how much you have compared to how much you spend. Consult a financial advisor if you are in debt and work out a suitable plan to clearing the debt without having to rob a bank.

Work on your saving habits, learning to set aside a certain amount of money every time you earn takes discipline and commitment.

Research on investment options. Most banks right now offer ways to invest your money in-house. Learning about how to invest your money through programs like Mpesa’s Mshwari, MMFs (Money Market Funds) and bond investments is a step in the right direction.

In conclusion, managing your money does not have to be rocket science. But it does call for discipline and a little research. Doing so can also increase your knowledge. It calls for one to be willing to take responsibility for their current financial state and to set financial goals for the future.

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