How to budget while at university.

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It can be hard to see money while studying at university. You’re either relying on a monthly allowance from your parents or are maintaining yourself with part-time jobs. Either way, you have to make sure that you have money every month to buy toiletries, food, pay rent, etc. So here are a couple of tips to help you to budget while you’re studying.

Set yourself a budget

Firstly, you should go over your expenses every month and see what you spend your money on.

While you’re doing this make a spreadsheet. This will help you to figure out what you spend your money on and how much of that money you can set aside for savings. Having some extra cash aside for a rainy day means you won’t have to worry about surprise expensive, like doctors visits or fixing your car.

Shop smart

Once you have your budget sorted you now have an idea of how much money you need for groceries, clothes, etc. However, you can save yourself, even more, money if you shop smart. This means going online and having a look at prices from different stores. This way you’ll know which places are cheaper, some might even have student discounts so be sure to keep an eye out.

Eat from home

Sure fast food may seem cheap and quick at first, but eating out regularly actually, costs you a lot of money. Rather than getting McDonalds or KFC why not make your own meals? You can go grocery shopping over the weekend and the cook up a storm by preparing meals for the week. This way you won’t have to worry about making meals during the week while cramming for tests as you’ll already have it sorted.    

Go second-hand shopping

Being a student can be expensive, even if you follow your own budget the cost of textbooks, clothes and toiletries can pile up over the months. This is why you should also look into second hand shopping. For example, a brand new textbook will cost you a lot more than a one that was already used by a third-year psychology student.  

Control that impulse shopping

Impulse buying is one of the easiest ways to lose track of your cash. Rather than just buying what you want, when you want it, go home and sleep on it. If you really want that jacket or that new iPhone, give yourself some time to think about it and whether you have the money for it. Most of the time you’ll find that you’ll want the cash for something else or that you’ll want to put it in your savings.

Sure, living according to a budget will drive you crazy sometimes. But if you stick to these tips then you’ll find that it can be easy to save yourself money and to stick to your budget.