Students Share the First Investment They Made Using Their Own Earnings

Plus how they manage their own money.
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Mar 18, 2021
Image: (LEFT TO RIGHT) COURTESY OF KATRINA GOLAMCO, INSTAGRAM/REINSMIKA
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One of the many admirable things about the younger generation these days is their drive to jumpstart their career and pursue their passion even before receiving they get to receive their diploma on graduation day. Nowadays, there are plenty of opportunities for students to earn money while pursuing their college education, especially since the digital age has made it easier to connect and collaborate with others. It also allows students to pursue activities outside of acads and their college majors while learning how to be more responsible with their resources, such as their time and the money they earn.

Below, we talk to college students who have also been engaging in part-time work about career plans, money-saving tips, and the struggles of hustling while studying.

Reins Mika Melitante, part-time model and digital creator

Aside from being a Management student at Ateneo de Manila University, Mika has been trying her hand out at modeling, and so far, she's doing great. She's landed several modeling gigs with recognizable names in the industry, and most recently, Mika also won the Digital Creator’s category of Elite Model Look 2020. 

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Around how much do you earn as a student with your part-time hustle?

Perhaps, you can say I can afford to pay the rent on an apartment every month.

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Are you considering pursuing this career path full-time after graduation or is it just a ‘sideline?’

I'm not sure; this pandemic has been extremely unforgiving to the fashion industry, and many jobs have been lost as a result. It's impossible to say whether I'll be doing this full-time in the future or taking another career direction.

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How do you keep track of what you earn? Do you utilize a bank account for your savings?

I strongly advise students to open a bank account as early as possible. It's great to learn responsibility at such a young age. When I first started working as a model and earning, I also learned how to budget and discipline myself to save and invest on the important stuff.

What’s the first big splurge or investment you made with your own earnings?

The first big splurge I made with my own earnings was booking a plane ticket and a hotel room to Boracay with friends. I believe that experiences and building memories are worthwhile investments.

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For you, what’s the most challenging thing about hustling while studying?

Balancing everything is definitely the most challenging thing about hustling while studying. It’s funny because I remember in my first two years in college, I would avoid partying after class, and I didn’t even have time to hang out with my blockmates. In college, I was a bit of a lone wolf because I was more focused on my work. After school, I will usually dash to my car and drive straight to a casting or shoot. If I don't have any plans for the day, I'll just stay at home and rest. I believe that the key to juggling school and the job is to concentrate and prioritize the important things while also being a great multi-tasker!

Katrina Golamco, part-time writer

Katrina is currently a third year Psychology major at St. Scholastica's College, Manila, but she's also exploring work experience outside of her field. Katrina has been a Candy Correspondent for a year now. She's also previously had a 9-to-5 job when she was just 18! 

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Around how much do you earn as a student with your part-time hustle?

My paycheck varies article by article, but I could say that the pay I receive is enough for a student to buy leisures on her own, but mostly food (hahaha), and sometimes I am the one who pays the Netflix bill for the household, and I started to give some of my earnings to pay for my tuition and other necessities for myself. I know it’s not that much, but it is a good start on teaching myself how to budget money smartly.

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Are you considering pursuing this career path full-time after graduation or is it just a ‘sideline?’

I was actually asked by my employer the exact question during my job interview, and back then, I said I want this to be my "sideline" only, and the career that I aspire to have is strictly in the field of psychology. But right now, I saw myself having fun and passionate about my current job that I actually thought to myself the other day, "Why not continue this work path further?" So yes, basically, I’m still on the brink of a career crisis. But, right now, I’m sticking to my initial plan to still consider this as a “sideline” and wait 'til graduation to see my odds.

How do you keep track of what you earn? Do you utilize a bank account for your savings?

I opened a bank account! And yes, I totally recommend them to have one. Especially now that everything is through online transactions, it’s easier to have access and an option to bank transfer money right from your phone rather than going outside pa to send or receive the money (and safer during a pandemic).

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But, if you still don’t have the chance to have a bank account for some valid reasons, Gcash is good, too! Because personally, it is better if you deposit your money somewhere where you can still manage it virtually than physically keeping it in your wallet. First, you have a visual on your phone of your transactions and balance so you can accurately keep track of your expenses in real-time. Second, it prevents you from misplacing your money.

What’s the first big splurge or investment you made with your own earnings?

My current job now is not my first work experience. I had a 9-to-5 job when I was 18, and I had a fixed salary back then every 2 weeks, so madami pa akong pera noon hahaha. My first big splurge was actually a gym membership and a cellphone. It was so fulfilling for me back then that I don’t have to ask my parents for money for my leisures. And it felt like an initiation to adulthood because I had to budget my money so keenly that it should reach 'til the next cut-off haha.

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For you, what’s the most challenging thing about hustling while studying?

Time management is an overrated thing to say when you’re working and studying at the same time. Everyone knows that already. I think what working students don’t say much is how emotionally challenging it is because everything doubles. Responsibilities double, concerns on each environment double, balancing social groups doubles, demands double, mental effort doubles, and eventually stress doubles.

And when things get stressful, it’s difficult to open up, thinking your peers and family won’t get it either way, at least for me. And TBH, you literally don’t have the privilege to breakdown haha. Despite everything, working as early as 18 years old gave me more sense of purpose in life. It gave me a satisfying feeling that I don’t have to rely on that much on my parents for everything I need and want. Sure, I am still not 100 percent independent, but it’s definitely good that I’m already taking that road earlier than expected.

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Vinz San Juan, photography studio owner

Vinz is currently a student at Ateneo de Manila University taking up European Studies. He also started a food and product photography business called Vinz Studios which he gets a bit of earnings from. Right now, Vinz is also branching out into different kinds of photography.

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Around how much do you earn as a student with your part-time hustle?

Frankly, I started this business because I wanted to help my parents with my financial expenses in school or maybe for renting a condo unit once the face-to-face classes resume, but I think I wouldn’t be able to sustain a monthly rental fee with the little earnings I have, so as of now, with the little income I have, I can afford to pay my gym membership monthly, which is 2k/month. I put the rest on my savings, and I spend a little for my GrabFood cravings LOL.

Are you considering pursuing this career path full-time after graduation or is it just a ‘sideline?’

Photography has always been one of my passions. I could dedicate a lot of my time in learning and doing shoots, but I wouldn’t think of it as THE career that I’d like to pursue since I want to pursue being a lawyer years from now. However, being passionate in my business really helps, and I hope people who would like to start their businesses as well are driven by their hearts’ interests and motivation.

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How do you keep track of what you earn? Do you utilize a bank account for your savings?

As much as possible, get a bank account to secure and keep track of your finances. I’m also struggling in keeping track of my expenses and income since I have other sources of income, but one way to do it is getting a bank account separate from your personal one, this way, you could manage your expenses.

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Now that I have two bank accounts, I dedicate the first one for my savings, where my income goes, and the other one for my daily gastos and short-term wants. I’d only transfer a small amount from savings to my gastos card. Also, remember to never use savings account for online transactions, only use your gastos account so it won’t charge you when you forget to cancel subscriptions or decided to be an online shop-a-holic.

Other than that, I use GSheets to encode the transactions made in my business so that I’d keep track of it.

What’s the first big splurge or investment you made with your own earnings?

With this pandemic, it’s almost impossible to realize where you’ve spent your money since bit by bit it gets disbursed through little things in online shopping. But, the first time I got my big splurge, I remember buying gym equipment with the income I have earned, which isn’t pretty bad since gym equipment are good investments.

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For you, what’s the most challenging thing about hustling while studying?

Honestly, the ups and downs of my side hustle scares me. I’m afraid that this business of mine might someday dissipate due to lack of attention because I also have to keep in mind my priorities (academics, family, sports, and social life).

But, I’ve also learned a thing or two on how to get back up on my own feet. Those who supported me told me that it’s part of the hustle, and the good thing is that I’m passionate about what I’m doing, which gives me the drive to continue it whether it’d be tomorrow or after the next two months — I know I’ll always have something to look forward to.

***

#WATCHCANDY: Subscribe to Candy Magazine on YouTube and follow @candymagdotcom on Tiktok for guides to college life and beyond.

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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