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My Friends Are Poorer Than Me

My Friends Are Poorer Than Me

The concept of poor or rich is very relative. While you say that "My friends are poorer than me," there are many others who will be saying the same thing about you. Colleges and schools are great levelers. These places are designed to treat all students who get through the admission process and are selected to study there equally and on the same level.

Once you are admitted into the college, the excess amount of money you have as compared to others should cease to matter. It is quite useless to go around saying, "My college friends are poorer than me." Aren't they friends first and rich or poor later? Should you allow money to come in the way of a potentially lasting friendship?

My college friends are poorer than me

So, how do you handle money matters in such a situation? Here are some ways:

Scholarship entry - Your friends might have got admission based on a scholarship which makes them smarter than you. You can choose to ignore the money difference and focus on the intelligence difference and take your friend's help to become smart.

A scholarship entry student will sail through college easier than many others and the chances of the person landing a lucrative job immediately on completion of his or her college education are very high. So, it is only a matter of 3-4 years when your friends will remain poorer than you. Soon, the roles could get reversed. So focus on picking up skills at college and forget about money differences among college mates.

Help your friends if you can – Like I said in the previous point, money could change hands sooner than later. If it is possible and you can see a genuine need, you could think of helping your friends financially. I would like to reiterate the importance of using prudence in such cases. It would be naïve to go around flashing your money and giving it to all and sundry.

Sit back, think, and see if a case deserves the help. Then, you see if you can afford to help and only then make the choice. Don't jump into the "helping" bandwagon without thinking things through sensibly. Your friends could be poorer than you. But are you Bill Gates? So, be prudent if and when you choose to help your friends financially.

Be sensitive to the fact that your friend's parents would have scrapped through their savings to get him or her to college – Not everybody can afford a college education. Many parents choose not to send their children for a college education because they cannot afford it. However, some people understand and appreciate the value of college education and are willing to sacrifice a lot to ensure their children get access to good education.

Your poor friends could belong to such a group. Be sensitive to this fact and appreciate the situation. Don't treat poor friends badly or in a way that makes them realize the difference money can make to a relationship. They could get resentful and feel hurt and these negativities could be manifested in a wrong way. They could be scarred for life. Also, remember not to pity them because pitying them can be as painful as mocking them for their lack of wealth. The best thing is not to bring up the topic of money when you are with friends.

How do poor students manage college education?

Here are some great money-saving tips that students from poorer families use to manage money. These are great tips that even rich students should employ in their lives. You never know when these skills will be of use to you.

Don't buy new textbooks – Textbooks are very expensive and can create a hole in your pocket. Before you buy brand new textbooks, you can visit the library to borrow them or go to a secondhand bookstore to check for used copies. Used textbooks are available at leading online stores as well. Another great option is to use digital copies which will be cheaper as well as more convenient than hard copies as you can access it from any device.

Don't buy a laptop till you have checked for various discounts – Many leading computer companies such as Apple, Dell, Intel, etc offer student discounts. Make sure you have thoroughly researched the various options before you buy your laptop. It is quite possible for you to save a decent amount of money by buying devices on tax-free days and after making enquiries for the best and the cheapest.

Watch your credit card spending – Credit cards are deadly debt creators. You get carried away by the fact that a simple swipe has got you a product. The pain will hit you when you get the card statement later on. And if you do not watch your spending through credit cards, you could land in a financial soup.

If you do use your credit card, ensure you clear the bill every month completely. Rolling over credit card balances is one of the most imprudent financial decisions you can make. And getting into the right habit in this regard earlier on will help you manage your finances well throughout your life.

Make sure you do not miss out on scholarship renewal dates – Many scholarships are distributed on a yearly basis and you would need to apply for it each year. Keep track of the dates and don't miss them out.

Limit dining out – Your college fees would usually include meal plans and it makes sense to stick to the college schedule. Eating out very often can lead to unnecessary excessive spending. Keep track and monitor your eating out habits to save money. The costs can add up more quickly than you would like. You could also stock up your mini-fridge with snacks and drinks from the grocery store instead of the vending machine. This will also help you save money.

Use campus facilities and amenities instead of going out – Do not unnecessarily sign on for a gym membership outside the campus when you have a free one inside. You might need to adjust your waking and sleeping times to use them at a convenient time when it is not very crowded. But the amount of money you save by using such amenities within the campus can be quite big and should motivate you enough.

Final Notes

Money is one of the most temperamental things in the world. One day it could be with us and another day it could move to someone else. Yet, it is an important aspect of life and using money resources prudently will help you lead a happy and contented life.

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