I am 19 year old university student, have $20,000 saved in the bank and am just about to start my first investment portfolio. As a young person, it is easy to think that all your financial goals will come true as soon as you get a full-time job. But what I have learned from doing the $1000 Project, saving hard, budgeting, cutting back and finding creative ways to make money, is that your financial future can start NOW! It’s so easy to not pay any attention to your finances when you’re a student and not earning very much – what’s the point? But we actually earn more than we think, and that money has the power to give you so many opportunities now and in the future.
My top habits for financial freedom at university:
- Write it down: Make sure you know not only your income, but your expenses. Figure out where all your hard-earned money goes! Do you spend more on restaurants, drinks or lunches?
- Set your goals: They don’t have to be big. They just have to exist! Adjust your goals to suit your income, but try to push yourself outside of your comfort zone a little bit. Simply saving your first $100 or $1000, no matter how long it takes, can be the most exciting goal to reach!
- Cutting back: Can you take your lunch to uni or work, or try different free or cheap activities to do with your friends? Don’t eliminate everything, just pay attention to mindless spending.
- Make more money: Creating new sources of income can mean you reach your goals that little bit faster. Babysitting, tutoring, pet-sitting, market research, selling things online or dog-walking are great ways to make some extra money!
- Reward yourself: Make sure you give yourself credit for reaching your goals! Go out with friends or do something fun to celebrate your hard work!