I think that most University students have found themselves out of budget at some point or another and that’s when anxiety kicks in. I know that I’ve definitely been there once or twice but it’s okay because I learned from that experience and now I can share some budgeting tips so that you don’t have to eat Pot Noodles and feel like you are missing out on anything.
Budget! Budget! Budget!
For you to stick to a budget, you need to actually have one. The first step to create a budget is to write down your income and then divide your expenses into two categories: essential and non-essential. It is of great importance to understand the difference between “want” and “need”. After you have crossed out the money that you have to spend monthly on TV licence, rent, bills, etc you can set a weekly budget for groceries, takeaways, etc.
But that was the easy part and it’s better said than done. So, here’s what you can do to actually stick to your budget while simultaneously saving up.
Plan your meals and cook at home
If you can actually achieve that part you will most definitely save a TON of money. What I like to do is that every Sunday I create a meal plan for the coming week and then buy all the ingredients needed. This means that you will not wander around the aisles of your local grocery store and make any impulse purchases. Also make sure you buy some coffee beans to avoid extremely expensive coffee takeaways! It’s not very easy to stick with the plan but you will get used to it after one or two weeks, I promise.
Discounts are your friends
You can find student discounts on everything and you should take advantage of that. All you have to do is a quick research and realise that your student ID can actually offer you discounts for food, clothing or even school supplies and textbooks! Also, you can always keep an eye on student offers in museums, cinemas, and nightclubs because apparently there are many (You can do that once the coronavirus situation is over. Until then stay home and stay safe).
Some useful websites:
Develop a saving plan
Saving money is worth the effort and you don’t have to save big amounts each month or week. Of course, you can make your own saving plan according to your budget but here’s a fun and easy way to save money. Whenever you spend money you just round the price and save the change (for example, a coffee of £3.50 rounds up to £4 meaning £0.50 in your savings), it’s that simple. And to make you intrigued to try it, I will also mention that this little plan bought me a concert ticket last year!
Remember that cheerful living can be cheap! You just have to make the right choices and be organised. Hope you found this article useful.