How to tackle a budget and stick to it

WE ALL HATE doing it, thinking about it and sticking to them, but as students we all feel the pinch of the budget. With the temptations of alcohol, take-aways and online shopping, your student loan can all too soon disappear, so this is where budgeting unfortunately kicks in. It’s all well and good having an amazing fresher’s weeks spending £300-£500 but when you’re in the last few weeks of term living off beans on toast, I bet you’ll be wishing that you budgeted. Now I know from experience how hard it is to budget, however realistically with a decent plan and the tiniest amount of will power you can easily keep yourself in the black and very easily save yourself a tidy amount for some quality nights out.

Photo - Alex Tanton

Photo – Alex Tanton

Planning your budget is simple – all you have to do is look at how much money you are getting, take out rent and bills and divide what’s left between the weeks you are at university. Once you start looking at your money in weekly amounts you will honestly be amazed at how far you can make your money stretch and also how careful with buying you will become just by your awareness of what you have to spend. We all struggle with this, but this is not just an important university skill, this is real world real life grown up stuff. Trust me, learn how to budget now while you are at university and you don’t have the pressures of a full time job.

Budgeting, if we are all honest comes down to making smart simple life choices. Do you really need to grab a takeout pizza when you have a frozen one in? Or could you walk to town or catch the bus rather than paying £3 or more to get there? These choices on a day to day basis may seem small, but if you start saving yourself £5 a day that’s 35 pounds a week you could save. And that’s all there is too it making these minor decisions – think long term and not just right now.