Many university students have the discipline to save their allowance, but this does not mean that they are spending their money on the “right” things.
#1: FANCY DESIGNER GOODS
While I was completing my tertiary education, I noticed how some people flaunted their LOUIS VUITTON or MCM Worldwide bags. I wondered how there were able to afford such a splurge as mere students. With limited financial capacity, it is not practical to collect luxury items. Invest on a quality backpack instead.
Not to mention, it is seldom that somebody cares about what you are wearing.
A friend of mine rarely showers before going to school. She rationalized her actions as a typical behavior from the norm. Everybody was doing it so, why cannot she? The point was that majority of students would not care about how you present yourself. You are not there to treat the school as your catwalk! Your top priority is to learn after all.
#2: FLASHY ROOM DECOR
As a young adult, you have the privilege to decorate your own room. You definitely want to feel relaxed in your own space – be it a dorm or a hostel. However, you do not have to shell out too much to do so. Mount some family pictures and make your own ornaments. There is no need to buy a lot of new things as you will not keep your furniture for long.
#3: FREQUENT EAT OUTS
It is impressive how Singapore embraces racial harmony. That said, it is common to be friends with international students. Many of these students reside in the school’s approved hostels. Due to their living situation, some opt to dine out. Who can blame them? Dining out is utterly convenient. You do not need to prepare your food or wash the dishes. However, frequent trips to the nearest restaurant or pub can quickly exhaust your allowance.
You would not even realize how much you are spending until it is too late! Put a realistic budget in action, if you do not want your finances to wore out.
BONUS: Let us talk about textbooks. This expense category can be uncertain at times. Universities tend to provide a long list of reading materials. The mandatory and recommended books may not be clearly written out. Before you spend your entire allowance on the comprehensive list, be sure to buy what you will actually use for the course. Find second-hand books from the last year’s students or from the Bras Basah Complex. There are free online resources too!