Once you arrive at university and the student loan lands in your bank account there will be temptation to go on a spending spree. However, that money needs to last you throughout the semester, so it is important to make a budget and stick to it. It can be difficult to live on a budget but you will get used to it and here are a few tips I have used to help me live on a budget while at uni.
- Work out a budget before you arrive and stick to it.
- Shop at the budget supermarkets as they will save you a lot of money.
- Try Supermarket own products as often they are just as nice and a fraction of the price of other brands, then only get the branded things that you really can’t get a different version of.
- Always make a shopping list before you go food shopping because once you’re in the supermarket it is so easy to forget what you do and don’t have at home and if you get too many of the same things, some will go off and be wasted. Also, without a list and a focus you end up buying much more than you meant to and things you don’t need.
- Food waste is a big way that money can be lost. If you buy too much food or too many of one thing because you forgot you had it, then some food is going to go off and throwing away food is like throwing away money.
- Nights out can be less expensive when you are a student with various student nights with cheaper entry and deals on drinks however, the money does quickly add up. The best advice I can give you is not to go out drinking too many times a week (this will also help your uni work) and when you do go out, take cash only and then you won’t be tempted to keep spending like you might if you had your bank card there (make sure you save some money for the taxi home though).
- Now if you are a shopaholic like me then being on a budget can be difficult with Hanley so close, which has all the shops you could ever need. Shopping is fun, sometimes essential, and an enjoyable way to spend a day with friends, however, it can get expensive. I try not to go too many times a month, not get talked into buying expensive things by friends or shop assistants, and to enjoy some window shopping. There are lots of budget friendly shops in Hanley and while the quality of clothes in M&S may be higher, Primark will serve you well and is so much cheaper.
- When deciding to join clubs and societies, keep an eye on the membership fees and the costs incurred within it. They are often quite cheap but once you start joining two or three, the fees can add up and, depending on your budget, this can be valuable food money.
- Another way to save money is to find cheap or free activities to do either by yourself or with friends. Cooking a meal together, taking a walk, setting up a photoshoot (you can either make or buy some photo booth props very cheaply), watching some TV or movies, chatting etc.