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1. Set a goal

If you don’t know how to start managing your finance, set a goal. How much do you want to save every month? What number do you expect to see in your bank account upon graduation?

Good financial management requires self-discipline and it takes time to build, especially if you are new to managing your finance, as most college students are. Setting goal is a useful way by giving you a sense of orientation. Even something as small as setting an event in your calendar can go a long way to improve your self-discipline. You will feel more secure and motivated if there is a concrete number that you are striving towards.

Do you want to own your first car in a few years from now? Do you want to save for your graduation trip or your first rented apartment? What can best motivate you? Think about it.

2. Create a budget

Once you have figured out your long-term saving goal, you can transform them into a detailed plan. Make your goal happen by creating a budget, whether it is weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, purely at your preference. Beginners may find it easier to start with a weekly budget. You can get some basic understanding of your routine expenditures over a short time horizon first and then extend further. Your budget should clearly list out your periodic income and expenses. Categorize your expenses and give them an allowance. Don’t be horrified by the numbers and tables. Believe me, you can nail it. Your training in mathematics over the past decade has given you more than enough for this simple task, isn’t it?

3. Find a part-time job

How much allowance do you have each month? Do your parents provide financial support to you or are you self-financing?

If you want to be financially independent soon, you can consider a part-time job. The key difference between college and secondary school is flexibility. Now, you can personalize your timetable and you have a much shorter class hours compared to the past. Self-studying can be tough at the beginning. But this is when you start practicing your time management skills. Allocate some time for studying and you get the remaining.

There are plenty of work opportunities readily available in the job market. Private tutoring and jobs at the service industry are obvious choices. For more career-oriented posts, you may want to look for part-time internship offers advertised through your university or job search platform.  

4. Prioritize your expenses

Nowadays, goods are packaged to represent certain lifestyle. We often relate quality of life with one’s ability to consume. This may be true to a certain extent but be careful, there can be no end in satisfying material needs. Especially with the convenience in payment brought by credit cards and mobile payment platforms, we tend to purchase impulsively. Therefore, it’s important for you to extract your needs from wants, distinguish between necessities and the others. As long as you have this idea in mind, an alternative to pay by credit cards for all your expenses can only be beneficial. You’ll naturally pause for a while when you reckon that you may not be spending your money wisely. A few seconds can make a huge difference given that we make recurring purchasing decisions every single day.

5. Track your expenses

Tracking your expenses regularly is a key step to your finance evaluation. As with budget setting, you may want to start with a weekly evaluation first. After grasping a basic idea of it, you’ll feel more comfortable in handling monthly totals.
Compare your budget with your actual expenditures, reflect on the reasons why they are not in sync, adjust your budget where appropriate...... Personal financial management app such as gini largely simplified these steps. With gini, you can view all your bank and credit card transactions in one-go. It automatically categorizes expenses for you so you don’t have to do them manually. It’s time to utilize these innovative tools to manage your finances more efficiently.

1. 訂立目標

對於財務管理,如果你覺得無從入手的話,就先訂立一個目標吧!你希望每個月有多少存款?畢業的時候,你希望在自己的儲蓄戶口看到什麼數字?

財務管理並非易事,需要一定的自律和堅持,而這需要時間慢慢建立,特別是剛開始的時候,你未必對自己的財務有很清晰的認知。這時候,一個好的目標會給你明確的方向。小至在你的日程表上加上一件事,也是建立自律的好開始。當有一個確實的數字作為你的目標,自然會更有動力,不會慌惶失措。

幾年之後,你想擁有自己的第一輛車嗎?還是你想預留款項作畢業旅行或租住房屋之用?甚麼可以給你最大的儲蓄動力?想一想吧。

2. 制定預算

當你訂立好長遠的儲蓄目標後,就是時候仔細制定一份預算,以實現你的目標了。你可以用每個星期、每兩個星期、甚至每個月為單位,悉隨尊便。但對於初學者而言,以一個星期為單位可能會比較簡單。你可以先集中地了解自己日常生活所需的花費,有了個大概後,再套用至更長的時間。你的預算需要清楚地列出每段時間的收入和支出。為你的支出分門別類,再逐一設定花費限額。相信我,這些看似繁複的數字和表格其實並不可怕。有了過往十年的數理學習經驗,區區一份預算,又怎會難倒你呢?

3. 找一份兼職

你每個月的生活費有多少?你的父母會否給你財政上的支持?還是你一力承擔?

如果你希望盡快達到財政獨立,可以考慮一下兼職。中學與大專院校的其中一個分別,就是在於後者的靈活性。現在,你們可以自己安排課表,課時也比以前的更短。自主學習一開始並不簡單,但這正是大家學習時間管理的好時機。分配一定的時間學習,剩下的你就可以自由發揮了。

市場上有很多不同的工作機會,對於大專生而言,以私人補習或服務業最為常見。如果你想為未來的工作打算,也不難在學校或其他網上平台上找到一些兼職實習的工作。

4. 排列支出的優先次序

今時今日,不少產品都會包裝成某種生活態度的象徵。我們常常會將生活品質和消費水平混為一談。當然,這也不是毫無道理的,但你需要小心,追求物質上的滿足是一條沒有盡頭的路。特別因為信用卡和電子錢包的出現,付款變得太過方便,令消費者有時會衝動購物。可以用信用卡為所有消費付款本是一件好事。只要大家分清楚需求和欲望、必需品和其他花費,消費前自然會「停一停,諗一諗 」,想清楚你是否在善用你的金錢。短短幾秒的時間已經可以改變很多事情,畢竟你每一天都為你的支出作出選擇。

5. 追蹤你的支出

財務管理的其中一個要點,就是要定期追蹤你的支出。就像制定預算的方法一樣,你可以先從短期入手,每星期作一次評估。當你掌握了基本的技巧後,即使要一次性處理一個月的資料,也是輕而易舉的事。

比較你的預算和實際支出、如果超支的話,想一想背後的原因、需要時改動你的預算......個人理財App 例如gini等簡化了這些步驟:有了gini,你可以在一個版面上看到你所有銀行戶口和信用卡的消費記錄。它更會自動為你的消費分門別類,為你省去不少功夫。善用這些創新的工具,更有效率地管理你的財政狀況吧!

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