Obsessed with Pennies

Life at Zhelter
2 min readFeb 11, 2022


College life comes with a catch: the responsibility of managing your expenses. Once they have moved to Delhi, students usually receive a transfer of funds at the start of every month. It is earmarked for rent of PG/flat, food, recreation, and any other expenses. Almost all students can manage their finances properly. If things go haywire, the dear parents always bail out their cubs with a top-up transfer.

Students from low-income and mid-income families have to be more judicious regarding their expenses. They avoid spending recklessly on expensive clothes, parties, etc. Some students who come from stronger financial backgrounds share this behaviour too. An urgency towards gaining financial freedom and a sense of individuality drive their actions in particular.

It is indeed a good habit to exercise control over your expenses. But very often, students take frugality beyond the limits of penny-pinching. It does help them to save money marginally but creates a negative impact. Kindly allow the author to use an example.

Let us say that you have your college 5 days a week. You commute on foot. It is the scorching month of July. Nevertheless, you take a walk back to your PG. At the end of the month, you were able to save Rs. 200 by not taking an e-rickshaw for your return commute. But the health risks you pose can be higher than the saved money. Even if we omit the health risks, very likely you would have spent at least 30–45 minutes resting after reaching your PG. You may even feel slightly off the whole day. You could have traded off this time for any productive/recreational activity. The author has presumed that you are not Captain America.

As a college student studying in another city, you should have a candid conversation with your parents regarding expenses. If you feel that preserving a certain expense is having negative results on you, you must talk to your parents regarding it. If you keep compromising your comfort for saving a few pennies, it may decrease your productivity in the long run. This will defeat their very purpose of sending you to a new city in the hope of becoming a better person. Another thing you can do is to perform basic calculations yourself. Say, how much you can save by making a certain decision.

If the compromise costed you your peace of mind, perhaps you have lost more than you saved