How to do uni, save money AND still have a life
Jacinta Neal challenges the idea that all university students are poor. Here are some tips on how to do uni, save your money and actually have a life as well.
Money makes the world go round, right? Everyone knows that saving money while studying is hard but with these hot tips you’ll be saving like a pro in no time.
Set a (realistic) goal:
The first step to accomplishing anything is to establish a goal. It's incredibly important as a student to set a financial goal NOW, because not only will your future self-thank you, but it’s good practice to have your hard earned money under control. Write it down and keep it somewhere where you can see it regularly. So whether it’s have $5000 in savings or saving for your Euro summer, maintaining a realistic goal motivates you and keeps you from side railing.
Review how much money you spent in the previous month
It's daunting to look at how much money you usually spend, but it's essential to save more money. I suggest looking at how much money you spent last February. Where did the majority of it go? Eating out, Uber, or maybe clothes? Now that you’ve addressed and discovered where your money is going, you’ll have a better understanding of where your problem areas are and can improve them. Plus, you know where you spent absentmindedly, I had on average four large coffees week, yep that’s 64 dollars a month…
Budgeting 101 is making sure you create realistic expectations; you can’t budget $20 for transport knowing that you’re probably going to spend $30. Don’t budget to the bare minimum but don’t over budget either, set a realistic goal of what you usually spend and stick to it. There are many different types of budgets out there, but the one that I’ve found works is the cash budgeting system. This is where you take out how much money you need each week and divide up in your wallet. For example,
$20 on transport
$50 on entertainment
$50 on groceries
Having a physical object in your wallet makes you more responsible for your money. It involves knowing that you’ve got exactly $X amount of money to spend for the week, because once it’s gone, it's gone.
Review your purchases
Before you purchase anything, think, ‘do I need this?’ and, ‘why am I buying this?’. Thinking about why you’re spending is so powerful. Society has taught us to spend money all the time, but we can break this habit by just reviewing our purchases. Do you really need another pair of jeans when you have five pairs at home? Do you really need that t-shirt? Put it down and walk out of the store, and sleep on it. The next day you’ve probably changed your mind. The same thing goes for anything: ‘Do I really need to order this Uber when I could walk to the bus stop?’. It's simple. Trust me these purchases add up!
Now that you have some tips, it’s time to start saving like a boss and reach those financial goals!
Jacinta Neal is a second year Journalism student. She is an aspiring TV news presenter, who loves reading, coffee and is always counting down the days to her next travel adventure.