Balancing academics and entertainment

We are living in expensive times, and the soaring prices of onions are proof of this. But unlike working men and women, who have a steady source of income, college students have to make do with the amount their parents provide as allowance, often struggling to strike a balance between the much-needed entertainment and academics.

   For many of them, especially those living away from home, budgeting is a major concern. Anisha Jain, a student at Christ University, says that a large part of her
allowance goes into food.

   “I stay in a PG and the food there isn’t good. So I spend at least 70 per cent of my monthly allowance on eating out. In college, we have to spend for lunch everyday. Even when it comes to groceries, the price hike makes things very expensive.” she shares.

Like many of her friends, Anisha finds it tough to manage funds as a student. “It’s an expensive city. And when it comes to travelling by the auto, half of the autos don’t go by the meter and a lot of money I could have saved is spent there. More so, with the weather changing so frequently, people like me fall ill quite often and the medical expenses are also high,” she adds.

Shweta Netam, who is pursuing her MBA (HR) in Symbiosis Institute of Business, faces the same difficulties. “Staying away from home is not an easy task and not at all exciting like
the way they show it in the movies. With parents putting financial caps on spending and extremely high auto fares, it is an ardent task to manage my travel budget. Due to
hectic college schedules, I generally go out on weekends and the exorbitant weekend movie fares add to my troubles. I end up spending over 40 per cent of my monthly budget in one of these outings that comprises of a movie and dinner. The uphill pricing in Bangalore is a particular issue and I wish there were concessions for us students for entertainment and commuting,” says Shweta.

Others like Sachin Singh, a student of Acharya Institute of Technology, also relate
to these concerns. “Budgeting is tough because the standard of living in Bangalore is higher. I spend most of my allowance on food, vehicle fuel and gym subscription. On weekends, I end up spending on hanging out with friends. Since I don’t smoke or drink, I save a lot more every month than my friends who enjoy those habits,” he says. Being a model, he adds that sometimes, he gets lucky and makes extra cash through photo-shoots and fashion shows. To avoid the feeling of being broke all the time,
some students also take up part-time jobs. “I do content writing for an online company.
There isn’t too much work to distract me from my studies and for a few hours a week, I earn enough to enjoy life a little more than I otherwise would have,” says Naresh, a student.

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