As students (and maybe even young professionals) we all know the struggle of dealing with our personal finance all too well. Budgeting? Never heard of her. Saving? How can I save when I'm wasting 60% of my monthly income on paying rent? As a student himself, Franklin knows these struggles as well and he's on a mission to make it one less struggle for all of us. The last time Franklin was featured in Phryme Magazine (issue 005) he talked about his journey in the world of engineering. This time he’s in the spotlight for a completely different reason: he wrote a WHOLE (!!!) book. And no, his book is not about engineering or anything even remotely related. Instead, he wrote a book about frugality, saving, and budgeting. As a non-financial major, writing this book required about 2+ years of research and compiling thoughts and ideas. But the end result is an expansive book, with almost 300 pages, about living frugally, budgeting, and saving and earning money.
Franklin first came up with the idea for this book because of what he, and others, were experiencing. He’d noticed that Aruban students moving to the Netherlands were not well-prepared. They were lacking information about how to make an informed decision about, for example, what medical insurance best covered their medical needs, or about how buying things second-hand was an option when buying furniture. He then noticed that it wasn’t just Aruban students, international students in general, oftentimes had no idea about how the Dutch system worked (for example in regard to taxes). So with his book, Franklin wants to help students in their quest to learn how to earn and manage their money more effectively.
Franklin’s book is titled ‘Living rich as a student in the Netherlands: From broke to a frugal lifestyle’ and it’s divided into four parts:
The first part is called “Frugal lifestyle” and it’s where Franklin defines what he means with the word ‘rich’.
Rich is when you have an abundance in something. When you have an abundance in something (whether it be money, time, energy, family) you don’t experience stress because you don't have to worry about having enough.
Then he goes on to explain relevant concepts like frugality and lifestyle inflation. He also tries to make the reader aware of why humans make certain financial decisions.
Once Franklin has explained why it’s a good idea to be frugal and save money, he goes on to help the reader achieve a frugal lifestyle. He does this in the second part, named “Hitting the limit”. This part of the book is all about how you as a student can save money in every student expense category (accommodation, utilities, groceries, clothing, monthly subscriptions) by cutting costs.
And he doesn’t just leave it at reducing costs, he also shares with us, the reader, the money-saving strategy that he uses. He does this in the third part of the book: “Building back up”. In this part he explains the money-saving strategy, how to implement it, and ways to make saving money easier.
The fourth, and last, part of the book is called “Become limitless” and it is here that Franklin shares different ways in which students can make money in the Netherlands. For example, he talks about being self-employed and the common jobs that students in the Netherlands have. He also explains the Dutch tax system and how to file your taxes. At the end of the book there’s a template to help the reader make this financial overview and it’s as easy as inputting what comes in and what goes out.
The main aspect of the money-saving strategy I use is to make an overview of what you're spending money on and then cut costs by choosing to cut on certain expense categories.
So are you an international student who’s moving, or has moved, to the Netherlands for your studies? This book’s for you. Are you a third-year student who’s tired of being broke and not knowing where all your money is going? This book’s for you. Are you just now starting your journey towards financial literacy? This book’s for you. Do you just want to figure out how to make money as a student? Then this book is for you. Are you about to enter the job market as an (ex) international student and you have NO idea how to do your taxes or how you’re going to pay your students loans back? Then this book is definitely for you. This book covers many different topics, so it’s relevant for every (ex) international student in whatever stage of their life they might be at.
And Franklin is not planning to just leave it at the book. He plans to continue giving workshops to Aruban students who are about to move to the Netherlands every summer. And with this book, he aims to build a community where (ex) students can talk to each other about living a frugal lifestyle and share the knowledge about living frugally with others.
Did reading this blogpost pique your interest and are you ready to go out and buy his book? ‘Living rich as a student in the Netherlands’ will officially launch in September in the Netherlands. It will be available for purchase at http://www.boekenbestellen.nl and through Franklin’s Instagram account (@livingrichasastudent) for €20.95. If you can’t wait until September, because you’re ready (like me) to have the book in your hand right now, you can go and follow @livingrichasastudent right now. The book is now available for pre-order via the Instagram page. Franklin’s also planning a pre-launch for his friends and followers in the Netherlands for the end of August. In Aruba, the book will be available at Plaza Bookshop Aruba for Afl. 35.
Franklin’s one message to you would be:
Question every financial decision you make and ask yourself if you truly need it, or if the advertising/marketing is making you want it.
Personally, I’m sold. And take it from me, he knows what he’s talking about. I mean, he’s already managed to pay off his ‘Arubalening’!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.