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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Making More Money vs. Reducing Expenses

When budgeting, the bottom line is to balance, literally.  If you can balance your earnings with your expenses, you should have a net of ZERO, which means you are neither saving nor going into debts.  Of course accruing money during post-secondary education is hard and may be a dream for some, but the first goal should be to come out of your education debt-free (thousands of students come out with life-altering debts that will take them decades to pay back).

Of course, all would be well if we could make lots and lots of money so we would not have to reduce our expenses.  However, while being a full-time student, it is rather difficult to make tons and tons of money - there IS a money ceiling that is easily reached, at least during the months of Sept - April/May.  The summer months are always more flexible for earning dough.  However, if you want to keep your grades up (in order to secure better co-op options, scholarships for graduate school, or a better first after-study job), you need time to study, which means less time to earn money.

Therefore, reducing expenses is vital.  Now, there are two good news: first, reducing expenses often frees up time to either study or earn money (think of NOT going out for beer but rather studying; think of NOT going shopping but rather working an extra shift at the library... you get my drift).  The second good news is that reducing expenses is often more environmentally sound and therefore, in this day and age, is very 'in'.  Consider, for example, using the bus instead of a taxi; buying second-hand clothing; making your own food from local produce.  Again you see the point.  So you don't have to seem 'cheap' to your friends, but rather, environmentally responsible.

So before you lament about your lack of funds, try to find a way to reduce expenses... you may be surprise at what you find you can do without.

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