Money Management. Budgeting. Financial Plan. Money and the lingo that goes with it can sound daunting, for sure. But as with anything, the more you learn the more empowered you’ll feel. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Manage your money for future you
Managing money can be as simple as tracking your spending. Where does all your money go? Does it go towards meals with friends? Or the occasional shopping spree? Does some of it go towards savings? If so, that’s great – at least you know. If not, no worries. The first step is knowing where your money goes and what it’s spent on.
It’s all in an app
If you’re using a debit card, you’ll be able to track and analyze your expenses every month through your bank’s mobile banking app, so you won’t be surprised at the end of the month to see how quickly little expenses add up. Making sure you’re armed with this knowledge will help you create a budget and stick to it going forward.
Budgeting, you say?
Yep. Budgeting isn’t just for old people. Learning how to budget is an essential life skill that is particularly important as you move away from home to start college or university. Creating a plan that clearly lays out your current financial situation, your future goals and how you want to achieve those goals – A.K.A a financial plan – is fundamental to helping you successfully manage costs against your spending habits. If this sounds new to you, Scotiabank offers a free online Money Finder Calculator to help you create a budget based on your current spending. Additionally, if you have a myBlueprint account, you can also log in and access the Money tool to build a budget based on your goals or post-secondary programs of interest.
The fun stuff
While this may feel “Big Picture” right now, budgeting can be the key to ensuring you set aside money for what’s important to you outside of school, too. We find it helpful to keep the 50-20-30 rule in mind: this suggests 50% of your income should be for must-haves, like rent and food, 20% should go to savings and 30% is for everything else you might want. Whether it’s a new computer you’ve been saving up for or the perfect décor for your future dorm room, budgeting now can make for big gains in the future.
Let’s get started
Now that you know a little bit about managing your money, talk to your parents or guardian about whether this is the right time for you to download your bank’s mobile banking app. As we mentioned, this can be helpful for tracking when money’s going in and when it’s coming out so you always know what’s up and you can control your spending going forward.