10 surest ways to become financially Independent as a Student in Ghana
Financial Independent is defined as the ability to depend on one’s self financially. Becoming financially independent as a student is one thing many students want in order to have full control over their life to prepare themselves well to face the future.
It is important to note that becoming financially independent as a student does require one to be more mindful of how he or she spends. This means planning one’s spending in a way that allows the person to buy more of what makes he or she happy and less of what doesn’t.
In this case, if one really enjoys a nice car, the person may rent a smaller or cheaper apartment so that he or she could have more wiggle room in a budget for a larger monthly payment. Having enough savings, investments, and cash on hand to afford the lifestyle one wants for him or herself and family is an important goal for many youth or students.
It also means growing a nest egg that will allow a student any career he or she wants without being driven by the need to earn a certain amount each year.
Unfortunately, too many people fall far short of financial freedom. Even without occasional financial emergencies, escalating debt due to overspending is a constant burden that keeps them from reaching their goals.
Achieving financial freedom can be very difficult in the face of growing debt, cash emergencies, medical issues, and overspending, but with discipline and careful planning it is possible.
While many students rely on parents or guardians for financial support, there are a number of ways a student can start to become financially independent while still in school. It requires a bit of time and upfront effort, but the payoff is more than worth it.
The requirements to become financially independent involves the below points but not limited to it. These points can help to properly plan to achieve that.
1. Research and Take advantage of Scholarship and Bursary opportunities
There are many funds that are prepared to support students by recognising the academic progress, financial need, extracurricular activities, organisation’s CSR and religious or ethnic affiliations. A proper research can help prepare applications for opportunities. Scholarships and bursaries are funds that do not need to be paid back. They are an ideal option to pay off student debt and fees.
2. Find a part-time job or side hustle
Though it is difficult to study while working, school schedule may already be bursting at the seams with classes and extracurriculars.
Even if you have a few extra hours to spare each week, a part-time job or side hustle can help you achieve financial independence as a student.
For instance, a student could get a part-time job on or near campus. Those within the ages of 18 years and above could become a driver for Uber, Bolt, Shaxi and Pragya vehicles. Sell gently used clothes on Poshmark, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace.
You could equally become a freelance writer and if you have that academic ability tutor other students in class or within where you live for payment.
3. Keep a watchful eye on your spending
Becoming financially independent as a student isn’t about denying yourself everything you l0ve in life. You can still enjoy that pizza, that video game, and that night out with friends.
But becoming financially independent as a student does require you to be more mindful of your spending.
This means planning your spending in a way that allows you to buy more of what makes you happy and less of what doesn’t.
So, if you really enjoy a nice car, you may rent a smaller or cheaper apartment so you have more wiggle room in your budget for a larger monthly payment.
On the flip side, if you don’t care about cars at all but love international travel, you may drive a used vehicle so you can spend your money on what truly matters to you plane tickets.
4. Live Below Your Means
Mastering a frugal lifestyle means developing a mindset focused on living a good life with lessand it’s easier than you think. In fact, before rising to affluence, many wealthy individuals developed the habit of living below their means.
This isn’t a challenge to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. It simply means learning to distinguish between the things you need and the things you want and then making small adjustments that drive big gains for your financial health.
Spend less than you earn and save the rest.
Becoming financially independent as a student hinges on this one life principle. If you can master it, you’ll be better off than many of your classmates.
There are tons of ways to save small amounts of money here and there: Stick to a shopping list at the grocery store so you don’t overbuy.
Limit yourself to one night out per week or even per month. Shop at thrift stores and consignment shops for clothes and housewares.
Each time you save 10 cedis, you’re buying “future you” 10 cedis close to a dollar worth of financial freedom. After your first year, you can sell used textbooks and other unwanted items to those in the first year to learn ahead.
What items do you have lying around your dorm room that you don’t use? It could be some cute clothes, that bike you bought freshman year, or even some old textbooks.
Create a pile of stuff you don’t need. Then, see if there are any takers on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Poshmark, or a local consignment shop.
5. Stay Educated on Financial Issues
Review relevant changes in tax law to ensure that all adjustments and deductions are maximised each year. Keep up with financial news and developments in the stock market and do not hesitate to adjust your investment portfolio accordingly. Knowledge is also the best defense against fraudsters who prey on unsophisticated investors to turn a quick buck.
6. Negotiate for Goods and Services
Many youth of today are hesitant to negotiate for goods and services, since they believe it makes them seem cheap. Conquer this fear and you could save thousands each year. Small businesses, in particular, tend to be open to negotiation, so buying in bulk or positioning yourself as a repeat customer can open the door to good discounts.
7. Keep Track of Your Income
Keeping track of the money you are making and how much you spend is one of the best things you can do in life. If you don’t already track your spending, you might be surprised at just how much things add up.
Tracking how much you make in comparison to how much you spend can be empowering and can prevent future stress. This decision has many benefits too, including: spending within your means; having enough money for the end of the year; keeping your debt low; and, making smarter financial decisions.
As a college student, you may not have a lot of money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start working towards financial independence now.
8. Get a Financial Advisor
Once you’ve gotten to a point where you’ve amassed a decent amount of wealth—either liquid assets (cash or anything easily converted to cash) or fixed assets (property or anything not easily converted to cash)get a financial advisor to help you stay on the right path.
When it comes to money, we make many choices. Sometimes these choices benefit us and sometimes they hurt us. Most of the time, we fall somewhere in between.
As you develop your financial independence during your time in University and after, you will make many of these choices – consciously or not. We’ve put together some some choices you can make now to help you plan ahead.
9. Invest in yourself
Even though you’re in college, you may have interests and passions that lie outside the classroom. It could be freelancing, photography, or even improving your communication skills so you can land a great job after graduation.
Nurturing these skills could help you earn more money in the future. So, if you have time to spare, consider signing up for courses through sites like Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, or LinkedIn Learning. Your school or public library may even have a free subscription.
10. Take advantage of Reality Shows
Many reality shows on campus and outside it have created an opportunity for many young women and men to exhibit their talent to attract a potential investor. Reality shows like Miss Ghana, Ghana Most Beautiful, Miss Malika, Di Asa, MTN hitmaker, Stars Of the future, Cues and Lyrics, Icons, Big Chef are all means to exhibit your talent to earn money and contracts to help sustain and project yourself.
Following the aforementioned steps will help any student to obtain financial freedom to be his or her own boss within a short spate of time.