You may not know it, but as students, you are rich, at least more than you would have imagined. And I’m not talking about the so-called “rich kids.” The list is much longer than it seems.
It’s all the more remarkable because many students see, through their studies, a good way to make a fortune. This is certainly possible for certain professions, but only a minority will allow it. Especially with salaries that increase only slightly.
As most students will tend to seek a salaried position, rather than considering becoming self-employed, the limit of salaried employment will make it difficult to access the fortune envisaged, to the point that you will be richer by being a student than by being a salaried employee.
Of course, you know that it is not easy to combine wealth and studies: you have to know how to invest.
Two basic rules on investment
Far from being revolutionary, there are two rules in the world of money and what can be done with it:
- The first rule for making money is not to spend it,
- a second rule qualifies the behaviour generated by the first to limit its extreme nature.
Precisely, one must be able to invest, but in an intelligent way, by limiting one’s expenses or, more broadly, by being able to take the time to think before moving on to the investment phase and ask oneself the right questions.
It is a question of reflecting on two intertwined aspects:
- the best alternatives to your initial investment (or spending) idea, asking the question “where to invest”,
- the best ways to invest in an optimized way, asking the question “how to invest”.
Where and how to invest?
It is not a question of being interested in investing in real estate or in the share prices of listed companies, as everyone else would. It will probably be a step to be considered quickly, but in both cases, it is preferable to obtain a minimum of money in order to be able to invest in these areas which, moreover, require a solid backbone, which makes it possible to invest only what one is ready to lose and no more.
Consider the first rule instead! First of all, you can limit your expenses, which amounts to defining them, make a list of all your expenses and try to reduce them by 25% on average, i.e. if you cannot reduce some of them to this percentage, reduce the threshold for these expenses, but increase it for others, when possible, so as to set aside 25% of what you would have spent if you had not bothered to take care of your money. Even if it is constraining, think of this approach as a game, it will gradually turn into a mechanism capable of giving you unsuspected financial means.
Ideally, if you add the second rule, you should even try to turn the slightest expense into an investment:
- either with the aim of really investing and making your money grow,
- or because you need to know how to invest so that you don’t lose money on necessary expenses that will save you extra expenses.
Transforming your spending
Here are a few areas concerned by this second point:
- your social protection is essential for your health, if you do not go to a dentist at least once a year, even if it is expensive (less than 100 euros for a scaling, excluding reimbursements), not going will cost you even more (at least five times more for a crown and ten times more for a dental implant, excluding reimbursements),
- transportation: buying a car and its related expenses will more easily break your attempts to save money than with a simple public transportation card, which is often cheaper for students,
- food: to avoid undernourishment without going into unnecessary expenses, you must know how to eat well at home on two main meals a day, to avoid being tempted to go out and spend two to three times more for less, and the same goes for certain snacks which, instead of spoiling your appetite, only whet it, because you will have felt that you are not eating properly beforehand.
On the first point, it must be seen that you cannot do without certain expenses:
- If you have to live far from home, rent will be unavoidable,
- In order to study well, you need to be able to access resources on the Internet or with books,
- Feeding oneself, even at home, is also a vital minimum.
It is therefore quite important to know how to invest the money you would have spent anyway without taking car :
- if you can’t study from your parents’ home, even a flat share can be expensive; a rent can be reduced depending on the neighborhood, but it can also be rethought: you are in an F3, you have two rooms, which implies two roommates? You can offer a third roommate to squat on the sofa in the living room for half the rent (example: 2 rentals of 600 euros, he pays 300 euros, which makes you each earn 150 euros per month, which is an annual gain of 1500 euros, if you take away enough to pay for the third roommate’s increase in charges, the remaining budget can be used to pay for a few hours for a cleaning lady during mid-term exams),
- Internet access is important, but you can avoid paying for it, use your knowledge and borrow login credentials from the hotspots of various Internet service providers, you will even gain mobility,
- books, you can find them in abundance in libraries, but, if they are useful in the long term, the Internet makes it possible both to find second-hand books and, above all, to think about reselling them afterwards,
- Instead of buying meat for one or two meals, bet on trays that can fill 5 or 6 meals, even if you cook the meat in advance, it will save you time, but above all, it will cost you about 1 euro per meal with starchy food as a bonus, the trick is to be imaginative in accompanying what could be seen as too redundant,
- Going out with friends is certainly very nice, but they are not the ones who will cover your expenses in case of financial problems, as they are likely to have the same ones, so it is more interesting to limit the number of “outings” and plan them indoors, especially if everyone brings something to eat and drink,
- Teaching other students from a lower class will allow you to reinforce your own knowledge and earn money, etc.
If you are not a scholarship holder, the ideal is of course to have been able to work during your holidays to cover your back, but there are certainly many other items of expenditure that can be revisited, so as to eliminate, limit or optimise the slightest expense. It’s up to you.