Graduating from SEE (Secondary Education Examination) is a significant milestone. As you step into higher education or start your career journey, learning how to manage pocket money effectively is crucial. Developing smart money management habits early can set you on a path to financial stability and success. Let’s explore practical tips and introduce the 70-20-10% rule for managing your finances.

Understanding the 70-20-10% Rule

The 70-20-10% rule is a simple yet effective way to manage your money. It breaks down your income into three categories:

  1. 70% for Essentials: Allocate 70% of your pocket money to essential expenses such as food, transportation and utilities. These are your basic expenses that you cannot live without.
  2. 20% for Savings and Investments: Dedicate 20% of your income to savings and investments. This portion is crucial for building an emergency fund, saving for future goals like college or a car, and investing in assets that can grow over time.
  3. 10% for Personal Spending: Use the remaining 10% for personal expenses and free spending. This can include entertainment, hobbies, dining out, and other non-essential activities.

For a brief explanation of the 70-20-10 rule you can watch our Instagram video.

Practical Money Management Tips for SEE Graduates

1. Create a Budget

Start by tracking your income and expenses. Create a budget to see where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back. Use apps or spreadsheets to keep things organised. A well-structured budget is the foundation of good money management.

2. Set Financial Goals

Having clear financial goals helps you stay focused. Whether it's saving for further education, buying a gadget, or planning a trip, setting specific and achievable goals will motivate you to stick to your budget.

3. Open a Bank Account

If you haven't already, open a bank account. A savings account can help you keep your money safe and earn interest. Many banks offer student accounts with benefits like lower fees and online banking options.

4. Understand Needs vs. Wants

Learn to differentiate between needs and wants. Prioritise spending on needs and be cautious with wants. This discipline will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and save more.

5. Avoid Debt

While it might be tempting to use credit cards or take loans, it's best to avoid debt if possible. If you must borrow, do so responsibly and understand the terms. Always aim to pay off your debt as quickly as possible to avoid high-interest rates.

6. Save and Invest Early

The earlier you start saving and investing, the more you benefit from compound interest. Even small amounts saved regularly can grow significantly over time. Look into savings accounts, fixed deposits, or simple investment options suited for beginners.

7. Learn Financial Literacy

Educate yourself about basic financial concepts. There are numerous free resources online, including courses, articles, and videos, that can teach you about budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt.

8. Track Your Progress

Regularly review your financial situation. Check your budget, monitor your savings, and adjust your spending as needed. Tracking your progress helps you stay on course and make informed financial decisions.

9. Seek Guidance

Don't hesitate to seek advice from parents, teachers, or financial advisors. They can provide valuable insights and help you make better financial choices.

10. Be Patient and Persistent

Building good money habits takes time and effort. Be patient and persistent. Celebrate small victories and learn from any setbacks. Consistency is key to achieving long-term financial stability.

Managing money wisely is an essential skill that will benefit you throughout your life. By following the 70-20-10% rule and adopting these practical tips, you can build a strong financial foundation. Remember, the habits you develop now will shape your financial future. So start today, and take control of your financial journey!

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