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Tips for Student budgeting

Budgeting can be a tricky task for most of us, never mind students. Don’t panic - it is something you can get better at by following our helpful top tips…. it can take a little time but you will get into the swing of it!

 

Plan for the month ahead

At the outset, set out what your outgoings will be versus your incomings and ensure you get the balance right! Take note of your regular monthly payments – be it car repayments, insurance, rent, groceries, phone bills, credit cards etc, as well as upcoming events and key dates to ensure you will not be caught short later in the month. There will always be the unplanned for expenses, but if you manage your money carefully at the beginning of, and throughout the month, this shouldn’t be a regular thing.

Be strict with yourself

Be mindful of what you really need and what your limits are!  Think about what is really necessary and ask yourself could you do without, or at the very least, wait to the next week or month to make the purchase.  If you keep to your plan for the month and have some surplus, you could perhaps put a little money aside each week to help make the purchase at a more suitable, wallet-friendly time.

Prioritise your spending and be realistic

If you are a student living away from home your outgoings will vary and indeed may be much higher from those of students who live at home. At the outset, in your monthly plan, establish what your priorities are – expenses such as education fees, rent, groceries, household bills and transport costs are the important outgoings and should be prioritised when you are thinking about spending.  After this, you can afford to be more flexible with the other less essential items.

Get a part time job

Many students juggle a part-time job with studying and this can be a great way to earn your own money to spend on more fun things than the essential out goings.  This element of independence is super and should be encouraged, as long as it doesn’t interfere too much with your deadlines or exam timetables.  Perhaps outside of term time, it is a good idea to try and seek some extra hours / overtime to help save for the much-coveted driving lessons or your first car and insurance premium. So, bank up those extra hours and get saving you will thank us later!

Avail of student discount offers

One thing you really take for granted as a student is the student discounts available at many retail outlets. The ChilliDrive team really miss these offers and discounts so make sure you avail of them when you can – in a sensible manner of course.  Every little saving helps and who doesn’t love a bargain.

Food shop in bulk and freeze foods

Food shopping is expensive and will be one of the biggest outgoings in your month after student fees and rent (if you are living away from home). When it comes to food shopping you need to be savvy and take on board some tips such as purchasing store brands instead of other more expensive branded goods, shop in bulk and benefit from this cost-effective way of shopping.

Be smart with your food and where possible plan your weekly meals. If you have some leftovers after dinnertime, save it for the next day or freeze it for another time when you wish to eat it. Don’t waste food or money by throwing it in the bin.

Another great tip is batch cooking, this is a very cost effective and time saving task. You can spend a few hours one afternoon cooking a considerable portion of a certain meal which you can then organise into individual portions for refrigerating or freezing. Not only is this a great way to save time and money but you can also maintain a healthy food plan more easily this way as you will be less tempted to fall into bad habits of grabbing convenience foods and takeaways.

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