Budgeting at university is a lesson best learnt quickly; sometimes having complete control of your finances, often for the first time, can be tough, and always requires a fine balance between splurging and self-restraint. Let’s face it, no-one gets enough student loan to live comfortably, regardless of familial financial circumstances; so here are few tips to hopefully make you feel a little better about your finances.
1.Plan Out Your Spending:
It will certainly take time to figure out, but making a t least an arbitrary budget plan is very helpful, in terms of knowing how much money you have and ultimately how much you’ll be left with after necessary expenditure. It is your choice how you spend or save any of the remainder, but it’s always a good idea to save a little in case of an emergency.
2.Food Shop Savvy:
It’s quite exciting getting to buy food for yourself, but that can easily tip over into buying whatever you want, regardless of price, or whether it’ll simply go off when you haven’t touched it in three weeks. Meal planning can really help you know what you need, when you need it and how much of it. Use up fresh food first, so it doesn’t go to waste. Things such as milk and condiments can also be far cheaper when you share the cost with your housemates!
Relating to your food shop, branded items, whether that be food or clothes can be very expensive. You may have a few food items that you don’t want to go for super market own version (for me that’s cheese and beans), but when you’re buying food, look out for a cheaper option; the food is often just as good but can really save you some money. This is equally similar with lots of clothes; those trainers you work out in at the gym really don’t have to be that fancy!
A bit more relevant for those not living in halls, but researching where you can get the best deals, whether that be food, clothes, or even bills, particularly thinking about the student essential of Wi-Fi. Companies will often advertise there ‘best student deals’ on social media to catch your attention, but do not chose the first package you see. Shop around, and see suits you best, not only looking at the value for money but also what you are offered.
This isn’t me encouraging crazy spending but buying yourself something nice or going out with friends should be part of your university life. Be sensible, but equally don’t be too harsh on yourself; make some memories! A takeaway every so often is a chance to get together with friends, but it won’t break the bank.
I can’t promise these tips will entirely keep you out of your overdraft, however should stop you from spiraling out of control. The most important point is to simply know what you’re spending and on what, and usually adjust accordingly. Moderation might be boring, but it’ll certainly help in the long run.
Take Care Everyone, I’ll Speak To You All Soon!