Faculty: Business and Law
School: School of Management
Bsc (Hons) Business Management and Leadership
20 June 2019
One of the challenges of being a student can be budgeting: how much money do I have, and how can I spend it best? These tips will help those students (like me!) who are learning about money management, and living independently.
- The most important suggestion is to try NOT to eat outside. As my first few weeks I didn’t count any expenses, I was just spending left and right. A meal for £10 outside didn’t seem much at all considering the amount of time you save on cooking… But, let’s assume we eat out 4 times a week. That would be £40 a week, and for a month, it would add up to £160, what would be minimum 21 hours of your work to eat outside. But wait, there’s more… Eating outside a couple of times a week doesn’t mean that it will be enough food supply for a week, so it will take around the same amount to spend on groceries, and then it would add up to around £300. If you eat at home, food expenses for a month will be around £150.
- Make a budget or set a certain amount of money just for food you NEED. It’s very easy to get carried away with buying snacks and drinks that are not necessary. Having a tight budget just for food will help you control where the money is going.
- Have a LIST of goods that you need. Have you ever been a victim of impulse buying? Have you ever regretted buying that chocolate bar for no reason? Here’s something that will help you – a list. A list isn’t just a piece of paper with things you need to buy but some kind of memo that helps you concentrate on the things that are actually required. I can’t tell you enough the amount of times I went to the store to buy eggs and milk and came back with a full bag.
- BREAK DOWN the amount of money you spend each month. Just think about it for a second. How much money it takes to get by for a month? Take a note of the amount you come up with and try living for that amount for a month and see how your expectations meet the reality. If you spend more than you expected, it will not be hard to find out where the spending was unnecessary.
- EARN before you spend. I arrived to uni with £1,200. After a month, I realised that the money was gone and then, I found myself looking for any work that could cover my expenses. This approach not only gave me anxiety but also unnecessary problems. My advice here is: think about you budget as it won’t be enough for your daily needs. This way it will be easier to save or, in other words, not to spend money with unnecessary things what, at the same time, will motivate you at work.
- Experiment with EMPLOYMENT opportunities if you can. Many of us have part-time jobs while we study. You can gain various skills and expand your opportunities from doing more the one job whilst at university. It is possible to get experience in one job that will increase your salary in another.
- Always PLAN ahead. The chances are that, as a student, you will need to spend some years to get the results you are aiming for. So why not have some plans for vacations or that movie you always wanted to watch. Make a plan on how you could save some money. As mentioned in the first tip, without eating out you could save around 160£ a month. Few months like that and you have enough money for a whole trip. Otherwise, another good idea is to save this money for unexpected events.
If you follow all these life-changing steps, it is possible to study and live alone without any external help. For me it’s possible to live with less than £30 a week and thus, I can save my time by working less hours, which gives me enough time to study and have fun.