A Personal Finance Skills Guide for Students

If you are a girl who loves reading, you might be familiar with either the movie or novel version of "Confessions of a Shopaholic." It doesn't illustrate an exaggeration as they are many people, male and female, across America who indulges in shopping sprees until they reach one credit card's limit after another. This is obviously not something a responsible does, so knowing how to budget your money during your student days will teach you valuable skills for your present and future financial well-being.

Saving is something that people hardly do now because of the high price of commodities. But savings are the first thing a person has to consider in setting his budget. Savings are primarily for emergencies and future purchases that one's current budget cannot handle. A student has to learn this in order to be disciplined when it comes to what he's buying. If you set aside the money you use for buying a three-dollar cup of coffee every day and put it in a piggy bank, you might be able to save up for a month's worth of college dormitory rental or for a new tech gadget. Set a goal for each set of savings you have, be patient and be disciplined enough not to touch them when you're aching for a six-dollar sandwich. It will be worth it.

Budgeting is another skill that can be helpful to you as a student. If you're working, don't just make sure you set aside 5% of your salary and then splurge all the rest. Equip yourself with accounting skills. List down all you need for a particular period-- for food, transportation, school supplies, toiletries etc within a month, for example. How much would you allocate to each particular need? You have to know your priorities so list them down first then you'll know if you have enough money for other things like the entrance to a gig of your favorite local band or the latest clothes from your favorite designer. Budgeting teaches you to live within your means and not rely on debts just so you could buy things that are not necessary. The next time you see something you want but don't need, you might surprise yourself by just looking at it and not buying or even walking past it.

Another skill a student should learn is negotiating. Not all prices of products are fixed so know that you can bargain. Having skills in negotiation can give you the best deals and can help improve your interpersonal skills. You can get a signature item from eBay or a collector's item from a garage sale for a low price if you know how to bargain. If you can't get rid of your itch to go shopping, arm yourself with this skill and you'll get to buy the things you want without breaking the bank or hurting your savings.

The personal finance skills all students should learn also include technological savvy. If you're serious about saving money, then you must have gotten or will get a bank account. Many bank transactions are now done via technology. You withdraw money through an automated teller machine or ATM; you check how much money your account has through the internet, you can even enroll by sending money online. Online shopping and selling is also prominent nowadays. So armed with your negotiation skills and tech savvy, you can sell your old stuff and trash (which may be another man's treasure) for a price that's higher than its value to you, and get stuff you want for the most insanely low price you can get.

Skills in investing may also be useful to you. If you know how the stock market works and can identify which markets and industries will rocket or plummet, you'll earn a lot of cash by investing in companies you find are worth the risk. Among all the personal finance skills all students should learn, you may need this the least, because you might not be interested in getting into the risky business of investments. But if you get enough knowledge and are willing to gamble, learning this skill will take you a long way financially. You might get rich by just investing money in flourishing companies.

Subject Matter Websites for Finance

  1. Fool.com