If you’re about to start university, you’ll probably be feeling quite daunted by the prospect as there will be many new challenges to face. As well as having to tackle the workload which will depend more heavily than ever on self-motivation and direction, you will suddenly be responsible for looking after yourself and paying your own bills.
As a student, you will have a limited income, so it is important to start thinking about how to live on a budget before you get there. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you don’t overspend during your time at university.
As well as monthly bills such as your rent, utility bills, and phone bill, which you should do your best to keep to a minimum, going food shopping is one of the most regular and significant forms of expenditure to take into account when trying to stick to a budget.
It is easy to go overboard in the supermarket, especially if food is providing some comfort during what can be a difficult time. However, it is important to realise that it is also easy to eat on a budget once you get into the habit of it.
Making a weekly trip to a large supermarket is far less expensive than going to a convenience store every time you need something.
Make a thorough list of what you need before you go too, so that you’re not tempted by everything you see. Buying non-perishables in bulk is more cost-friendly, and you will have to accept that buying supermarket own brands is a must for students.
Take your time looking around for cheaper alternatives to the products you’re used to buying, and this may involve doing a bit of cooking yourself as ready-made meals and sauces come with a price tag. If you need a little extra help making ends meet sometimes, take a look at gobear.com.
One of the biggest outgoings for many student is clothes shopping. It is tempting to try to keep up with all the latest trends especially when you’re trying to make a good impression with new people, but it is far more financially sensible to own a few classic, timeless pieces of clothing for every occasion, which you can re-wear and recombine to create new looks.
Structure Your Time
Structuring your time while you’re at university can really help you to avoid random bouts of convenience spending.
For example, having set times where you study, keeping track of any social events and scheduling set mealtimes into your daily routine can help you to be prepared in advance with low-cost solutions, rather than panic buying expensive products at the time.
Having an idea of how much you have to spend in a week will help you to avoid temptation while you’re out and about too.
Being sensible with your spending is essential when it comes to surviving the student lifestyle. In order to achieve this, organisation is key as it gives you preparation time to source less expensive alternatives to anything you might need for your various engagements.
Minutehack.com is a great website to have a look at if you need more advice on how to look after your money.