Overspent in January? Budget like a boss

Food Editor Amanda Goh teaches us how to save some money in the upcoming months

Amanda Goh
26th February 2020
Image: OTA Photos Flickr
Budgeting as a student is essential for university. A 2016 study found that 43% of students don't budget their spendings, thus it is no surprise that 7 out of 10 students are stressed about their finances.

Managing your money may seem like the last thing on your mind, on top of deadlines, reading and lectures, but developing good budgeting habits will help you throughout your student life and even in the long run.

According to financial behaviourist Syble Solomon, students are more likely to struggle with budgeting when they make decisions based on their emotions. She states that "students need to think through the 'what if' questions and be prepared for situations when they will spend money without thinking." This way, you account for sudden events and you will be less likely to throw your budget out of order.

Apps such as Monefy and Monzo will help you track your spending every month

The first thing to do to improve budgeting is keep it simple. Consider how much money you would typically receive during a semester and divide the amount to see how much money you can spend a month. When I get that figure, I would split it up even more and put 10% into savings. This way, you are able to have some extra money for emergencies.

Next use an app to manage your budget. Apps such as Monefy and Monzo will help you track your spending every month. You are able to enter how much money you have spend on specific activities such as eating out and utilities. This way, you are able to be more aware of what you are spending your money on. And if you are aiming to save, you will be able to see what activities you need to spend less on. Setting parameters of your spendings will enable you to be more aware of how much money you have and where your money is going.

As a student, save some extra cash by taking advantage of student discounts. Apps like Unidays will allow you to search for discount codes for various shops. Hundreds of companies offer discounts for students from gyms to clothing brands. Take advantage of these discounts, you won't be a student forever!

Try to avoid going to the supermarket hungry as this will result in you throwing random things in your cart

While going out for a bite always seems tempting, you should also learn to cook your own meals to save you some cash. Packing your own lunch the night before will definitely save you some money which you can spend on your next night out! You can also be more strategic at the grocery store. Try to avoid going to the supermarket hungry as this will result in you throwing random things in your trolley. During these times, your eyes are definitely bigger than your stomach!

In addition to shopping at the reduced section, try to buy more store-brand items are they may be significantly cheaper at the same quality. Also, shop at markets such as Grainger Market where they have cheap vegetables, fruits and even meat!

Following some of these tips will definitely help you with budgeting in the upcoming months! Try to avoid unnecessary expenses and keep them for a rainy day!

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