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Entering The Real World: Part IV


This week, I want to dive into the struggles surrounding the management of your own money. Your own adult money, that is. As you start working more and making more money to support yourself, you have to make sure you are earning and/or saving enough for bills, rent, and groceries. That sounds super easy, but of course, it is not. If you’re like me, and basically every other person on this planet, you might be impulsive or “spontaneous” as I like to call it.

I would recommend starting a spreadsheet either on paper or on your computer documenting both your fixed and variable expenses or ‘costs’. Fixed cost is a commonly used term in economics to represent the costs that do not change based on the amount of goods or services produced, or in this case, consumed. This would include your internet bill, rent, and a food allowance. These costs don’t change month by month, so you know how much you need to save to pay for these fixed costs. Variable costs on the other hand, are going to be expenses that change depending on how much of a good or service you “use”. These variable costs may include your electricity bill, water bill, groceries, and a “fun” allowance. Now, if you’re well disciplined, you can definitely assign a fixed cost to your fun allowance. Although your variable costs can change, you still want to give yourself a ‘maximum’ amount to keep yourself from spending too much. This of course depends on your income and your fixed cost, so it varies person to person.

That’s the frustrating part of finances, it varies based on everyone’s income, fixed costs, and variable costs. Plus, you have to consider emergency situations and savings percentage. You don’t want to spend every single dollar you make after each paycheck, so attempt to put aside a certain percentage of your income each month. Your savings will help you on many occasions not only for emergencies, but also during holidays or birthdays. I absolutely love gift giving, so I usually spend a little more that I should on certain people. Since I have been fortunate enough to save a good amount of money recently, my savings are able to support me.

Although managing finances is a struggle even for the best of us, I hope this article helped. There are various tools throughout the internet that can help you keep track of your expenses, so don’t be afraid to do some research. Even a simple Excel sheet can do wonders for your bank account.

Tune in next week for Part V: Hobbies & Coping Mechanisms.

I am a senior at SFASU, graduating in December 2021 with a bachelors in Animal Science. I want to be a Zookeeper when I get out of school because I have always had a passion for exotic animals. My favorite hobbies include painting and reading!
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