Congratulations! You’re about to embark on one of the most amazing adventures in your life: university!
Need some help in planning your student budget? No worries, we’ve got some tips that may serve as helpful guidance as you strive to maximise your quid.
Tally Your Monthly Income
The first step in evaluating the volume of your income is to account the various fiscal sources that you’ll have access too. Perhaps you obtained a scholarship, a student loan, part-time jobs or have magnanimous parents. Combine all your streams of income so you’ll have a clear idea of how loud the sound of “cha-chings” will be in your wallet :)
Estimate Your Expenses
Great, you’ve calculated your inflows. Now, it’s time for a less appealing task: to appraise the sum of your living costs.
Although your student tuition fees may constitute the biggest slice of your expenses pie - our best bet is that student housing will form a close second. The good news is that there are different forms of student accommodation that you can choose from to match your individual preferences as well as your budget.
Of course the size and location of the property will affect the rent levels. You could choose rented housing that is as low as £500 per month to more than £4000 a month. You can also opt for private student dorms that range from £150-£500 per week.
Excited to find your next home?
No mate, you don’t need to survive on baked beans and toast. You can still feast like a king and not break your treasury! Here’s how:
Change to value-added food brands: Switch over to more economical food brands that will fit in your budget bracket. These companies provide decent quality food from which you can whip up your favourite meals at a fraction of the cost.
Draft up a shopping list: Before you hit the grocery stores, make sure you have a list that you strictly adhere too. As tempting as those Lindt chocolates look, try to resist them and keep moving mate!
Utilise coupons: Check out newspapers and magazines for food coupons that you can shave some pennies off on your weekly grocery bill.
Eat veggies: Hey, if you’re already vegan or vegetarian, that’s great! As a meat-lover, you’ll also know that it tends to cost a pretty penny. Keep your taste buds open and try vegetarian meats which taste pretty similar to the real thing. Pssst, they cost less too!
Hit cheaper stores: Venture out to affordable grocery chains such as Lidle or Aldi and shop for your major monthly edibles from there as you’ll notice a notable variation in the costs there as compared to other major stores.
Buy in bulk: Getting items such as toilet paper in volume will reduce the overall per-unit cost. Not only that, it’ll save you an extra trip to the supermarket!
Want to know the real secret behind a scrumptious meal on a budget? That’s right: cooking it at home! In the months leading up to your big university move, ask your parents to give you a few cooking lessons. Master your favourite meals and remember, practice makes perfect!
Lighting up that stove already?
As you’re seeing, there are plenty of ways you can live in London on a student budget.
London is an exciting, enthralling city and you’ll want to experience everything it has to offer. For that to happen, you’ll want to be able to get around easily. Invest in an 18+ Oyster card and enjoy savings of up to 30% on the tram and buses. Another option is to buy a 16-25 or 26-30 railcard. You can add this to your existing Oyster card and enjoy savings on most public transport channels.
If you’re up for a bit of a walk, get to know London like never before by walking between destinations. Sure, it’s a massive city and you may have to use transport in between. Cycling is a great idea as well! Get strong, toned legs whilst on the go and kill some workout time in between.
Painting the town red? As knackered you maybe after a hard night of Saturday partying, try to avoid booking an Uber home and stick to public transport.
Personal and Miscellaneous Costs
This includes items such as your mobile plan, clothing, dining out etc. Now, these costs are completely in your control.
You don’t need to compromise on the quality of your life. You’re a hard worker and still deserve to eat out once or twice a week. Don’t forget there is always a happy hour!
To protect yourself from those cold London nights, you’ll need to bundle up with a cosy, warm coat. Get it in the summer when all winter attire is put up for sale. Similarly, buy your summer gear during winter sales.
Addicted to your phone? Restrict the usage of your mobile data when you don’t have access to WiFi or hotspots. The best thing about London is that free Wifi and hot spots are available almost everywhere. So, just tune in to those and save your valuable data!
Student or not, it’s great to know how to budget. If you want to earn some extra money, there are plenty of jobs waiting out there for you! Just find the one that fits in with your schedule and enjoy earning a bit of extra moola on the side.
Written by Sharmain Zain, Content Manager at JOB TODAY
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