Creating A Budget In University
With the fall semester having just begun, I thought I would share some of my favourite tips for creating and sticking with your budget while at university. As a university student, this is probably the first time you get to fully experience what it’s like to be an adult. Of course, a lot of it is a lot of fun but you also have a lot more responsibilities now. One of those responsibilities is being smart with your finances.
I realised that creating a budget was extremely helpful for me. Even though I had some money to spend on both necessary as well as a few luxury items, I never spent more than I could afford. When it comes to creating a budget, I would recommend looking at your monthly income and at your monthly fixed expenses. Put aside the amount you need for your fixed expenses because those aren’t going anyway. I would also recommend putting aside some to save for a rainy day. With the amount you have left you can now create a budget for variable expenses such as groceries, gas etc. For more details on how to create your budget feel free to check out this article.
Sticking To Your Budget
Now this is the hard part. But don’t worry I’ve got some tips to make sure you don’t overspend and end up having to sell your textbooks.
1. Student Discounts
One of the best parts about being a student is that lots of brands/companies/stores offer student discounts. You can get a discount for anything from Amazon to your Wi-Fi. All you have to do is ask. These discounts can really help you save a lot of money which will obviously help you to stick to your budget and not overspend on things.
A lot of universities also offer a lot of benefits to students which can help them decrease their spending. For example, we all know textbooks cost an arm and a leg but a lot of universities sell used books, rent textbooks or even allow you to borrow some textbooks for free from the library for a certain period of time. Universities often also offer things like gym services which are more affordable compared to going to a regular gym. So make sure to look through your universities site and see what they have to offer so that you can save as much as possible. This will really help with decreasing your spending and sticking to your budget.
2. Fun Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
One of the best parts of university is getting to know new people, making friends, having experiences and trying new things. However, this can sometimes get a little expensive and you may end up spending more than you can afford. But, this doesn’t need to always be the case. There are so many ways to have fun without going overbudget.
Extroverts may hate me for this but I’m just going to say it- stay in more. Instead of always going out, stay in once in a while. Order some pizza and drinks, put on some comfy clothes and a movie you all enjoy and spend the night at home. It’s way more affordable and you get to hang out with your friends. You can do other stuff too like have a game night.
If you really want to go out and do stuff try looking for affordable options. A lot of places offer classes like cooking classes and stuff for a more affordable price for university students. You can also hang out at affordable places or places that are free. You can go for a picnic, go to a flower farm or fruit picking, go to a poetry slam, go to the mall and so much more.
3. Meal Prep
One of the things I’ve seen most students spend a lot of money on is food. I mean it makes sense since food is life but good food doesn’t necessarily have to be very expensive. I know a lot of students prefer to eat out or get takeout because life can be very busy when you’re in university but eating out regularly can end up being extremely expensive.
I would recommend eating out occasionally and preparing as many meals at home as possible. If you’re busy with life you can try meal prepping. It’s a great way to save money, time and eat healthy homecooked meals on a regular basis. Meal prepping could be you keeping all the ingredients ready in advance. For example, you can chop up the vegetables in advance and keep everything ready so all you need to do is cook everything. Or you can choose to cook your meals in bulk for the week. I would recommend this option because it’s the easiest. All you have to do is heat up the food and eat it which can be very convenient after a long day at university. You can also take some of the food with you if you have classes all day because university food can be so expensive.
I hope everyone is having a good start to their fall semester and hopefully these tips will help you stay within your budget. These are just a few tips though and if you would like to learn more about how to stick to your budget you can do so by clicking here.
Do you have a budget plan? Do you have a hard time sticking to your budget or are you good with it? What are some tips you use to stay within your budget? How do you stop yourself from overspending? Let me know in the comments below or simply stop by and say hi!
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