Like grown-ups who get salaries, you’ll probably get money into your account at the beginning of each month. Like grown-ups who pay bills, rent and taxes, you’ll pay for your hostel or PG, mess, transport, phone, coffee and more. Just like the grown-ups, you’ll have the freedom to do whatever it is that you want to do with your money. You’ll taste everything that money can buy you, like a grown-up. Till suddenly, one day you’ll finish that pocket money. And then, like a kid, you’d have to call Mom for some extra money in the middle of the month. For times like these, we’d ask you to grow up, manage your money so that you feel rich till the end of the month.
Your dad is not your friend’s ATM
It’s pretty obvious that you would want to hang out, here and there, now and then, get a coffee, get a sandwich, watch a 3D movie, take a Radio Taxi instead of the bus. Well, whatever it is that you do learn to split the bill. Remember that your dad’s money isn’t really yours to give. That way, you stay happy till month end, so does daddy dearest.
Your friend’s dad is not your ATM
Let’s look at the other side of the story. What if your friend were to pay for all your fun? You’d have to return in kind and that is no fun.
Imagine tagging along to the places that your friend would want to go to and you never having a say. You might as well get a boss instead of a friend then. And of course, someday, what if that friend wanted you to return the favour because his dad didn’t want to pay for you? Good luck handling his expenses and yours.
Too bad, everyday isn’t Sunday
How sweet that you treated yourself nicely because you scored well in a test. It’s good to reward yourself. But no one scores good marks every day. So you have no excuse. Be happy with the food in the mess, buy detergent and wash your clothes instead of giving it to the fancy laundry place, watch a series on your laptop instead of heading out to the movies. It will help if you had an everyday spending limit. Well, except on a very special day or perhaps a beautiful Sunday.
Save up for rainy, freezing or humid days
The weather in the cities isn’t always fun. Travel somewhere when it gets intolerable. Go to Goa if you want the sun, Kasauli if you want to escape the heat. India is gifted with all kinds of beautiful places. Take the train, take a Volvo, take a noisy old bus. It’ll relax you and will make lifetime memories and beautiful pictures too. Just one thing. Don’t lie to your parents about these trips: don’t tell them that need money for books instead. Just let them know that you are off with friends and that you have saved up for this trip for a long time.
Master the art of bargaining
Now it’s fun to go to the air conditioned mall and look around, see people walk by with bags that advertise the brands. But it is more fun when you know that you bought that ridiculously expensive top for 150 bucks flat at another market. Wear comfortable shoes, carry a bottle of water and check out the open markets like Sarojini Nagar and Central Market in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi or street shop at Mumbai’s Colaba, Dadar and Juhu. Play little common tricks: pretend to walk away, tell the shopkeepers that the other store is selling the same top for half the price and sometimes say a long and sad ‘Please!’ too. At the end of it all, you need to look like the star in that air conditioned mall.
All kinds of fun isn’t really fun
Imagine the big city, especially when you are used to a small town. It has big buildings, big cars, big screens, big parties. It’s not their fault they tantalise. It however is your fault that you don’t know how to prioritise. To get a little bit preachy here, you know you are there to study right? So keep fun to the basics. Eat a nice chicken roll from the street, hangout in places where they let you sit for hours over just one cup of coffee, take the public transport and see the city. It’ll not only educate you but also keep you from spending money on places that charge you half your pocket money just to enter.