Strapped for cash? These three budgeting tips could save you moneyPosted on 05/08/2015 by Jess O'Connor
Let’s be honest, student life is pretty sweet. Yes, there are exams and essays and deadlines, but most of the time you’re learning about something you love. There’s just one little thing that would make it better; more money!
One of the hardest things about being a student is managing your finances. It can be difficult to earn a regular income when you are studying, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to get into unnecessary debt, like these students who spent their course related costs on non-study items (this article is a great example of what not to do).
With a little bit of forward thinking and careful planning, you can save some money while you are studying. Feel like you need some help in this department? Here are three of our best budgeting tips.
1. Write down all of your expenses
Grab a pen and paper and make a list of ALL of your expenses – don’t leave anything out! Include essentials such as bills, rent and petrol, but also make sure to include things like clothes, food and entertainment. It might be a good idea to look at your bank statements so you don’t forget anything.
Once you have done this, highlight any items that you think you are spending too much money on. Maybe you are buying too many clothes. Or do you really need to eat takeaways every night? Is your daily coffee necessary, or could you make your own at home? Writing down where you spend your money will help you identify areas where you can save. Remember: the money for every coffee you don’t buy could be going in your savings account!
2. Differentiate needs vs. wants
Now that you have an idea of your expenses, it’s time to get real: what do you want and what do you really need? You need to eat – but do you really need to buy a fancy dinner in a restaurant, or can you cook something simple and delicious at home? You need to wear clothes – but do you really need designer labels, or can you pick up a bargain at an op shop?
In order to save, you need to be ruthless about your purchases; don’t buy anything you don’t really need! “Where’s the fun in that?” you might ask. Just remember – you won’t be a student forever. Save those special purchases for when you celebrate your first job.
3. Keep money on your mind
One of the best ways to grow your savings account is to keep money at the front of your mind; don’t let yourself forget the reasons why you need to save. It’s all too easy to become lazy, or forget to budget properly, and then before you know it you’ve spent all your cash on overpriced coffees again!
Set a budget at the beginning of each week, and do your best not to go over it. Some weeks you might have more money to spare than others. By paying close attention to your budget, you are more likely to stick to it. Print it out and stick it on your fridge, or keep a copy in your wallet so you see it every time you go to get out your debit card.
There will be times when this feels hard, and you just want to go on a shopping spree or having a fun night out with your friends. But the more careful you are with your money, the more opportunities you will have when you graduate, and the less you will have to stress if an unexpected expense comes up (like your car breaking down!). You’ll also feel more in control of your life with a little bit of savings in the bank.
Posted in Study From Home Tips | Tagged budgeting, saving tips, student life, study success, study tips | Leave a reply