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Student spending:
Lifelong learning

By: Nurjehan Mohamed 
9 December, 2007

Sharing a meal at the park would be more affordable than eating at a restaurant.

YOUR personality is a major factor that influences the way you deal with money matters.

This was the gist of a talk entitled Behavioural finance: the practical insights of your financial behaviour, the third instalment in the Monash Alumni Group’s (MAG) Gearing for Success Talk Series.

MAG president Cheryl Teh says the series, aimed at younger alumni, is in line with the university’s motto — Ancora Imparo (which translates to “I am always learning").

Conducted by financial coach and Abacus Advisory founder and chief executive officer Carol Yip, the talk empowered participants to assess their own needs with a better eye.

During her talk, Yip highlighted the psychological element of managing money where factors such as family background are taken into consideration.

Also, how do events around you — global warming, inflation or pop culture, for instance — influence the way you spend your money?

Yip also says you have to look at your cash flow — most people have one or two sources of income but several outflow channels.

“This is caused by a person playing several roles — you could be a daughter, sister, friend, wife, daughter-in-law and employee at the same time, which would all require you to spend your money in different ways.”

Once it adds up, you would realise how much is being spent fulfilling these roles.

Money management also comes down to your mindset — if you believe that life is short, for example, chances are, you would spend now and worry about your financial situation later.

“Your mind creates your actions and controls your behaviours,” she says.

From the day you were born to now, every moment would involve you spending money in some form or other — even when you’re sleeping, you would still be using electricity and therefore be spending money.

“Every action involves spending money — it’s a matter of how we spend it.”

That is why Yip talks about your relationship with money — if you have a poor one, you would not be sure of where your money goes and don’t have a good grip of your financial life. Come time to save, you would encounter problems.

That is why it is important to have a good relationship with money from young so that you would know exactly where your money goes and what you would be spending towards achieving your life goals.

While money is important, it is also imperative that you do not let it run your life.

Managing your finances is more than just balancing your budget and recording your cash flow.

It’s also understanding the reasons behind your spending habits and making a conscious effort to gear them towards achieving your life goals.

Yip’s talk is part of a continuum in the series where the alumni learnt about managing their careers and understanding their psychological self in previous sessions.

Female magazine article - What My Money Journal Reveals

Prudential article - Plan, Prepare, Protect with Carol Yip

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