Many young people cannot wait for the moment when they finally leave their family home and start a new life as a student. After all, the university is a stage where you are free from parental supervision, and you learn how to be an independent individual who can survive in society. Be it cooking, doing laundry, or cleaning – at some point, you will experience it all.
It is also an excellent opportunity to learn how to manage finances. When you have a limited allowance, you will have to pick things up quickly to avoid living on instant ramen. You could start by setting a budget, tracking your expenses, and looking for sales and discounts. You should also learn to cook on a budget, save some money for an emergency, and, if needed, get a part-time job.
Though your focus is on receiving a quality education, you also need to ensure that you have enough money to maintain your well-being. The start is always the worst, but you can learn to manage your finances better with the tips below. Check them out!
Set a Budget
It is common for students to spend money without thinking twice. They want to look fashionable, eat well, and have fun with their friends. However, it is essential to be careful with expenses – you do not want to be broke a week before you are supposed to receive your allowance or scholarship.
To avoid this situation, make a budget and stick to it. You should spend most of your money on the basic necessities that ensure your well-being, such as your accommodation, utilities if you rent a flat, food, etc. Since student life should also be fun, you need to set aside something for wants, including takeouts, cinema tickets, or drinks in the pub.
You might have the comfort of your parents’ financial support, and you know they will give you something extra if you are short on money. But in the future, you will have to manage on your own, so take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to do it.
Take Advantage of Sales and Discounts
In addition to carefully planning your budget, you should take advantage of sales and discounts. This is a great way to save money if you know where to look for them. If you want to find the best discount codes in the UK, you can track stores with the best deals using websites like Tripplo or even your favorite retailer’s Facebook page. You should also subscribe to newsletters from online retailers – many of them send out deals and discounts on a daily basis.
Additionally, don’t forget to take advantage of your status as a student since it also comes with some pretty beneficial discounts.
Track Your Expenses
In order to manage your money better, you need to know where you spend it. Otherwise, you won’t know where to cut down your expenses. Some people use personal finance software or mobile apps designed for that purpose. One of the best apps out there is Mint. It is a free tool that offers you insight into your finances so you can easily manage them.
Other, simpler methods include using an Excel spreadsheet, a notebook, or listing things down on paper. It is up to you what method you use, but whatever it is, make sure that it works for you.
Get a Part-Time Job
Though it is not a good idea to work full-time while being a student, getting a part-time job is not a bad thing. Not only will it help you manage your finances better, but it will also give you the experience of working life and a chance to develop professional skills.
When looking for a job, try to find something that fits your schedule, interests, and skills – it will be less stressful if you enjoy it. Some companies nowadays offer flexible working hours, so try to negotiate that once you get the job.
Learn How to Cook
A big chunk of your money will go to food expenses. Living in a big city with many great restaurants available, you might feel tempted to eat out as often as possible. However, this way, you will quickly drain your bank account.
For this reason, you should learn how to cook since it will help you save money. The price of ingredients in a supermarket is much lower than a ready meal from a restaurant, and for the price of one takeout, you can have 2-3 homecooked meals. What is more, it is much healthier than fast foods.
You can start slow – buy ingredients and follow recipes from popular cooking shows or your favorite YouTube channel. As soon as you feel confident enough, you can start experimenting with ingredients and creating your own recipes.
Make Saving a Priority
Regardless of whether you have a part-time job or not, saving money is essential. For one thing, it could help pay for unexpected expenses or college fees if you suddenly get sick or encounter a financial crisis. Thus, consider saving money once in a while to have enough cash in case of an emergency.
You could also use the money to buy something special such as textbooks or clothes before the beginning of the semester. Though these are only small amounts, they can add up over time and become quite significant in the long run.
You can do many things to manage your money better as a student. The first is to set a budget and try to stick to it. Second, take advantage of sales and discounts as much as possible. Third, save money regularly to have some cash in an emergency fund. Finally, learn how to cook and get a part-time job if you can.
That being said, it is essential to remember that students face unique challenges when managing their money. You are likely to be tempted to spend all your money on the things that give you pleasure – friends, parties, clothes, etc. However, there are more important things than instant gratification.
Being a student means growing up, taking responsibility for yourself, and managing your finances better. Remember that the future holds a lot of opportunities, and you will need money to invest in them. Thus, make sure that you have enough of it!