Living life on a student budget

Weekly budget?! Limits to my spending?! No, that’s not something I like to talk (or think) about!

For daily living as a student though, it’s an integral and often inevitable concept to thoroughly consider and plan for a financially stress-free, easy, and responsible lifestyle. But hey! Who says it has to be hard? Living on a weekly budget with a few simple guidelines makes all the difference. And afterwards, when clicking on the ‘Savings Account’ button of your online account, you should see your funds shooting without even noticing it.

My weekly budget consists of a range of expenses that include: food and drink, going out to events with friends and family, my phone bill, commitments I’ve made, and savings. All these I’ve worked out fall into what I can afford, and what I should spend on and save for within reason. Yours could range from something similar to something incredibly different depending on your existing (or future!) commitments, plans, priorities and interests.

So, here’s me previously straight out of high school: irresponsible with money and indulging in the pleasures of glorious spending. With the advent of new freedom, meeting new people, being exposed to new ideas, online shopping and the delight of getting paid (YESSS), managing my money was tough and there were just too many commitments to maintain! In time however, through making impulsive and so-called ‘necessary’ purchases, I was led to think about my spending pattern, and seriously consider the benefits of a budget for an easy and responsible student lifestyle. And ever since then I’ve (mostly) never looked back!

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To help your habits in this tempting world, why not try some of these tips on saving:
– Open a savings account that earns interest
– Ask yourself, “Is this purchase necessary?” before buying, and sleep on it. I usually give it a week!
– Learn to cook from scratch at home instead of eating out regularly
– Give up bad habits
– Search for bargains and less costly alternatives
– Drink water – it’s free and good for you!
– Walk, cycle or use public transport instead of driving or getting a taxi
– List and prioritise commitments and plans you have (such as travelling, moving out, buying property, etc), and work towards achieving these goals
A useful initiative the Co-op has at the moment to help us uni students out with some extra cash is the ‘Bucks 4 Books’ scheme, where your old textbooks are exchanged for money! 30% of the RRP in cash is given on the spot, for you to spend on new textbooks or anything else you’d like. It makes for a great start to saving this semester!

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