Working on your financial well-being
Expensive groceries, sky-high energy bills, interest payments on your student loan… the average student has a string of bad breaks to worry about. And so, together with investment association B&R Beurs, TINT is holding a Financial Well-being workshop, full of tips to help you sleep at night. No more lying awake thinking about your bank balance.
They are a surprising duo: B&R Beurs is the association for students interested in investments and investing, while TINT is primarily occupied with the things in life that can't be expressed in euros. Still, on Tuesday March 14th they will be joining forces during a workshop designed to help students who are worried about money.
Financial worries are not a hot topic at the association's meetings, says B&R chair and master's student of Innovation Management Jord Adema. Having said that, the 171 members of the investment association are acutely aware that they belong to the unlucky generation of students who don't have the basic grant, remarks Adema.
The members of B&R are used to grasping the nettle - they study how they can maximize whatever financial resources they have at their disposal. A great many students, by contrast, find themselves worrying about money and making little or no headway with the problem. How can B&R give them a fresh perspective?
“We've put together a short introductory workshop on personal finance,” says Adema. Guided by a worksheet, the participants will analyze their own financial situation. “An important question on the worksheet is this: what's your goal?”
“Where do you want to be in five or ten years' time? Do you want to have bought a house, paid off your student loan, or have built up a buffer to pay for unforeseen costs?” While Adema knows that few students set a distant goal, he himself thinks it's an important starting point. “It doesn't even need to be a long-term objective, you can just as easily make your budget for your summer vacation a target.”
And how are you going to work towards that goal? “The golden rule is first save, then spend.” What Adema means is that when your student loan money comes in, you get your wages from your part-time job, or your parents give you something extra, you need to put some of that money into your savings account immediately.
“Whenever your current account has a healthy balance, you automatically spend more. But if you put some of that money away immediately, you'll see time and again that you can manage day to day perfectly well without it.”
Why is financial well-being in the spotlight?
TINT offers a range of workshops and other activities related to personal development. This is the first TINT workshop on financial well-being. What makes this such a relevant topic for students?
“Many students know how to take care of their physical and mental well-being, but they are less aware of the importance of financial well-being. We want to give them the tools to manage their finances,” explains Gergely Fodor, organizer of the TINT workshop.
“I myself am an international student and I have to work part-time to support myself, and so do many of my friends. But because I've never had any financial education, I found – and still find! – it pretty difficult to manage my finances properly.”
And there are complicating factors at play that don't make this any easier, says Fodor. “Rising energy costs and food prices, an internet that bombards us with adverts for hard-to-resist products… TINT is exploring the theme of financial well-being for the first time, and there are plenty of reasons to do so.”
Life coach Laura Curta, who together with B&R Beurs is leading the workshop, will focus on the stress caused by money matters, especially if your parents are supporting you financially or if you tend to compare yourself with others when it comes to money.
“This stress can manifest in all kinds of ways, such as feelings of inferiority, social self-isolation, shame or the self-imposed pressure to achieve good academic results and prove your ‘worth’ in that way.”
The relationship we have – often unconsciously – with money has a stronger influence on us than we might realize, Curta points out. “What have we learned about money from a cultural perspective? Or in relation to our worth as a person? In relation to success or failure? Without our realizing it, these unconscious convictions dictate how we manage our finances.”
Curta wants to help the workshop's participants bring these “silent guidelines” out into the open: “Sometimes your financial prosperity is more about your point of view than the balance on your bank account.”
The Financial Well-being workshop takes place on the 14th of March in Metaforum. You can sign up here.