Do you feel overwhelmed every time you think about managing your money? As a student, your life is just started in the big bad world, and now is the time for you to start planning your finances.
If you work part-time or have a source of income, do you want to learn how to manage that money and help you save up for uni? Education does not come cheap in this country and that is why you should have a student budget in place to keep things on track. Be it paying for your daily needs or the textbooks before a semester, you’ll always feel short of money is you don’t save your earnings. So here are our top ten strategies that can help you balance your budget at university:
1. Start Budgeting
Any time you sit with your money, budgeting seems difficult, right? One of the major reasons is that you probably are only thinking about your bills for the budget. The point of a student budget is that you budget for every single item. Be it eating out with friends, going for movies, mid-day snacks, socializing, books, or other supplies, you need to start budgeting for it all!
Also, FYI, budgeting DOES NOT mean you’ll have to divide all your earnings for spending. You need to save those bucks that is why you are going through the process of budgeting. You can take the help of your parents, a friend who is really great with saving a few moolahs, or just some student budget apps. Do whatever helps, but make sure you stick to your own budget and manage to save some of your cash.
2. Sell Old Books, and Buy Used Textbooks
Unless you’re sure you’d need your current books, do not try to hoard them. Sell your used books, and when you need to buy new books, go for old ones. You can ask your seniors or siblings for their copy of the books, or you can visit places like Valore and Chegg. Even Amazon has a solid collection of used books for uni students. Stop wasting your money on extremely costly books. Put in a bit of effort and you’ll probably find a cheaper version somewhere.
3. Automate Your Savings
An important part of your student budget is to automate your savings. Initially, you might feel it is useless to save money when you barely have any to spend the month. But trust us on this one! If you want your savings to grow in the long run, squeeze a bit and put some in savings. Talk to your bank teller and get that automatic savings deduction started.
4. Block Automated Payments
Automate your savings but never those payments. Be it your Audible or Spotify subscriptions, you won’t even realize where all that money went with automatic payments. Also avoid other automated media and shopping subs. That’ll contribute better to your savings.
5. Cash Payments
When making payments with your credit card, we have this tendency of thinking it is just a card. But when you count those notes and pay for things, that’s when its value hits you. You’ll see your cash pile diminishing fast so that ought to help keep you on track with your budget!
6. Cheap Thrills
You’re young, all your friends are out all night having fun, surely you deserve a piece of that action too, right? Well, what you can opt for instead of hopping bars or eating out every night is to go for cheaper thrills. Rent a movie and watch it with your friends indoors. Another great way is to start cooking for yourself and your friends.
7. Home Cooked Meals
Keep our dine outs to a minimum, and cook at home as much as you can. Invite some friends over and cook your own meals. You can even prep for the rest of the week on a single night. Visit a local supermarket and you’ll be saving bucks by the hour!
8. Earn Extra
If budgeting and other modes of savings are not helping your student budget plans, you can look for some extra work. Make sure this does not affect your studies, so find something less hectic. If you can make that extra cash, you can even start paying off your student loan while at uni!
You can work freelance or go for more creative options like selling handmade items online.
9. Online Coupons
Many shops offer lucrative coupons online, which you’ll probably not know about at the store. There are some apps as well that help out with coupons and promo codes. Stretch your student budget as much as you can and save those bucks.
10. Avoid Small Purchases
Do you really need that can of soda in the middle of the day or do you need some actual food? A can here, a bottle there, and these small purchases can add up at the end of the month. Saving even those one bucks each day will eventually add up to $30 at the end of the month!
Think twice before spending money on things that you actually don’t need. You can keep a miscellaneous tab on your budget plan but try to keep within those figures.
While you might do great in terms of saving money, just like those cheat days on a diet, you’ll often get the urge of spending a few bucks because you have been saving for so long. But check yourself and remember that there’s a bigger goal than going for that expensive restaurant tonight. Save those bucks now, and many such nights will await you in the future. Hope these 10 tips will help your student budget plans. Start being smart financially and new doors will open soon!