Being a student is tough enough without having to worry about money. That being said, for most students, money can often be at the forefront of their minds. Not only is attending college expensive but everything that goes with it can be a drain on the bank, and that is before we even consider the amount of money students need to stay alive and not have to survive on the cheapest fast food they can find.
To offer a bit of guidance on how to manage a budget during a time where it might seem next to impossible, this piece will offer some tips on how to manage your finances when you’re a student!
Assess your spending and make a plan
The boring part of every budget (depending on what your major is) is making a plan for where your money goes and how to cut it down. Having everything written out in front of you is an excellent way to see everything you are dealing with, what your essentials are, and what you can absolutely do without (yes, we are looking at those late-night pizza deliveries). After working this out, you should be left with a solid idea of how much money you will need for the essentials and how much you can afford to spend online shopping when you’re stressed.
For additional savvy points – underestimate how much you can spend on ‘wants’ so you can create a savings pot, or just be pleasantly surprised when it gets to the end of the month.
Buy the best quality you can afford
Often it is tempting to tell others to get the cheapest product they can find and ‘BAM!’ money saved! *smirk emoji*
However, cheap can sometimes mean less than desirable quality, so it is always better to spend a little more on something that will last longer than having to replace it (which could very well cost more in the long run). Kitting out your student accommodation or buying a sieve for the first time might not only be bewildering, but it can also be costly, so to keep a balance on quality and cost, keep your eyes peeled for coupons! Target Coupons are excellent to have on hand, as you can get pretty much anything you could ever dream from in Target, including trusted brands for a fraction of the cost.
Keep your eye on the goal
We all have reasons for wanting to save and budget, and there is a good chance that for the majority of us it is purely because we would like to keep a roof over our head and food on the table. However, if you have other goals in mind such as learning to drive or saving for high ticket items, make sure to keep this at the forefront of your mind. As a student, it can be extremely easy to tell yourself ‘one more takeaway is fine’, or this ‘next round of shots won’t break the bank’, but without keeping your goal in mind it can end up turning into a slippery slope. That being said, we are not saying don’t have fun, just be smart about the choices you make. Making a pizza with your housemates will be much more fun and cost-effective than ordering one!