Budgeting and spending

Whether you are a student or are dealing with challenging times financially, you can survive as long as you are realistic about your expenses, willing to cut unnecessary costs and stretch your money as best you can. There is an adage that states that if you live like a student now, you won’t have to continue to do so in the future, so this time of financial struggle can pass. There are other sources of income and income streams that you can use to make sure your money stretches further during hard times, and we look at all of this here. 

Create a budget

Create a budget and track all your expenses for your home, bills, food and other essentials like travel. You can use online apps to track all your online expenses and see where your money is going. Wear an extra layer of clothing before turning the heating up. Try a store’s own-brand stock which is usually cheaper. If you want to continue eating out, consider how you can make your money stretch further when at the restaurant, choosing less expensive dishes and drinks.

Once your essential budget is completed, see how much you can put aside regularly for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Even during hard times, there will be occasions you will want to celebrate with those you love. A gift from The Eternity Rose is unique and also lasts a lifetime. Not only will you feel good giving a precious gift, but your recipient will appreciate your generosity. 

Borrow as little as possible

During hard times, it is easy to put bills onto credit cards or take out loans. If you do this, make sure you borrow only what you need because this is not free money and you want to pay as little interest as possible on the money borrowed.  If you have a good credit rating, see if any of the banks are offering interest-free balance transfers from your other credit cards that hold a balance, or who offer an interest-free transfer into your bank account. Be sure you pay the minimum payments on time each month, so you do not get charged interest. 

Cut out small treats

Cutting out a daily coffee or snack can save vast sums of money over the year. Some online calculators will show you savings, for example, if you drop a latte every workday morning you save £650 over the year. Try a demotivating calculator for all your snacks, magazines, flowers or other everyday items that you buy that you could cut out to make a big difference.   

Smart food shopping

To save money on groceries, plan meals so that you have a list of what you need to buy once you are at the store. Do not shop when hungry, to reduce the chances of being tempted by items that are not on your list. If you have a set amount that you will spend for your meal plan ingredients, stick with it.  Not only will you reduce waste, but pre-planning weekly meals reduces money being spent on meals out or takeaways. 

Earn some extra income

Whether you are a student on a course or in full employment, consider how you spend your free time and if you can take on a part-time role to earn some extra income. There are often openings for retail staff, waiting staff and bar staff in towns and cities. If this is not an option for you, there are many opportunities to earn money online from teaching or selling used items such as books or clothing.

Don’t always buy new

If you want a new outfit for a friend’s wedding or a party to celebrate your parent’s milestone wedding anniversary, find your outfit in a high street store and instead of buying it, look online to see if someone is selling a lightly used version of it.  Look in dress exchange stores and thrift stores that offer everything from jeans to ball gowns. Do this for work clothes, books, essential white goods and other items where a new item is not vital. Be extra savvy with reading and borrow books from your local library. 

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