5 Budgeting Tips For Students
How to get your budget back on track in 2018
The festive season is a hazy memory, the decorations are back in the box and the party hat is packed away for another year. Welcome to January – the month when our waistlines seem to be bigger and our bank balances smaller.
There’s no escaping it: reality bites in January. But the good news is that, with a bit of careful planning, the New Year doesn’t have to be all that stressful. Here are our top five tips to help you get your bank balance back into a healthy state.
Create a budget
Let’s be honest. When you look at your balance at the end of the month, you wonder where on Earth all the money has gone. The best way to avoid nasty surprises it to create a budget. If you’ve got access to an Excel spreadsheet, all the better.
Write down all your expenses – whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly – and don’t leave anything out. Include things like your mobile phone, travel card, interest payments, energy bills and insurance premiums. This creates transparency and will allow you to take stock of your financial responsibilities. You’ll feel less tempted to go on a spending spree if you know you simply can’t afford it!
Pay your bills in advance
Regardless of whether you get paid weekly, fortnightly or any other way, try your best to pay bills in advance. It’s a great feeling to be in the black, rather than in the red. And it saves you from the stress of creditors chasing you for overdue bills – not to mention dreaded late fees.
It might all seem a bit too sensible, but it really is a smart move, as you’ll know exactly what you have left to spend, or even how much you can put away until next pay day.
Give yourself a buffer
Just when you think everything’s running smoothly, an unexpected bill or expense is sure to throw a spanner in the works. So make sure you have a financial buffer. Whether it’s $50 or $5,000 (you can always dream) you’ll sleep easier if you have some money stashed away for a rainy day. After all, you never know when you might need to take a trip to the hospital, pay a fine or an insurance excess for a dropped phone.
Be a bargain hunter
Nobody likes paying full price. There’s a great deal of fun to be had chasing down bargains – whether it’s on a sale rack, in a second-hand shop or listed on an online marketplace like eBay and Gumtree.
You can also make big savings by giving supermarkets the wide berth and buying your fruit, veg and meat from your local grocery store, butcher or markets instead. Stop paying retail and start saving!
Boost your budget with a summer job
Every extra dollar you earn is a bonus to your budget. So it’s time to roll up your sleeves, funk up your CV and get your applications in to cafes, restaurants, retail stores and any other place looking to boost its workforce for the summer season.
It’s a New Year. So what better time to be financially fantastic? A few simple changes and a readiness to take on some casual work could really pay dividends.