Guest Article: How to Handle Your Money as a Student
How many of us have dreamed of not having to count our money, to make it until the end of the month? Maybe those days will arrive soon, or at least let’s hope so. But in the meanwhile, if you are one of those students with a limited budget, don’t lose hope; there are a lot of things that you can do to spend a bit less and still live comfortably.
First step: Make a budget, starting with a list of all your expenses for the month.
What do you spend your money on?
- Metro pass
Make a list and divide your expenses between fixed costs and variable costs. When you make this list, you have to put it up against your income. If the result is negative, cut down on some expenses.
When you decide what to spend your money on, be honest with yourself. If you are the type of person who likes to go shopping, you should do that, knowing that the consequence is to eat pasta for the rest of the month. And the other way around, if you like to eat well, you might not have money for a new pair of shoes.
You might want both good food, and money for shopping or going to the movies. Unfortunately, as a student this might not be possible. Although, you can make the most of making your money last, with suggestions and ideas being given later on.
When you make your budget, it’s important to incorporate a buffer. With a buffer, you can avoid having a hole in your budget, thereby having to take one of those crazy loans. It might seem crazy to put away money, when you’re on a tight budget, but if your laptop breaks down, or you get an unexpected bill, you will love your little buffer.
P.S: You should be realistic with your budget, and remember to have some money for fun!
Second step: Stand by the budget you just planned.
Unfortunately, if you want to reach your goal, planning is not enough, you will actually have to perform with the budget. If you have seen a nice shirt you want, but if there is no room in your budget, then don’t buy it. You cannot always get what you want, and that is an important thing to remember. No one said it is easy studying.
Third step: Don’t squander.
So a spa weekend might not be the best advice for a student who is trying to survive with a low budget. Although you still have to enjoy your time as a student. The balance between squandering and having fun on a budget can be difficult. The best rule is to always choose the cheapest alternative.
Is there something else that you can do for saving money? Yes! If you are ready for the master level of savings, here are some tips, that will make a difference in your expenses at the end of the month.
- Buy fruits and vegetables in the local markets, they’re cheaper, fresher and contain less chemicals. If you share an apartment, then buy in big amounts with your roomies?
- Get rid of the clothes or objects you don’t use anymore by selling them at a flea market and get some extra cash.
- Quit smoking. It’s good for your health, and for your pocket.
- Drink at home instead of at the bars, or try to go during happy hours.
- Turn off the television, or have a nice chat with your roomies, and go out instead; you will see a difference in the electricity bill.
- Don’t pay for a gym membership, just go outside and do some sports!
- Get the rewards card for your local supermarkets, you will get surprised in how many good deals you can get.
- Compare prices and find the cheapest grocery store.
- Prepare your meals at home instead of eating in the canteen daily.
- Recycle your cans and bottles to get your refund for them, and help the environment in the process.
- Bike instead of using public transport.
- Try carpooling for long distances instead of public transport.
Are you a whiz with managing your savings? Don’t be shy – share your secret in the comments!
Written by Surveybee.dk.