With the cost-of-living crisis in full swing and prices going up all over, it can be a stressful time for everyone – let alone us students. You don’t have to let worry take over though, as budgeting can go a long way to helping you through this time!
Have a concrete budget
Firstly, having a concrete budget in place – not just the idea of one – is a huge step in alleviating the weight on your shoulders. You could break it down monthly or weekly by setting aside a certain amount you would not wish to spend more than; this could be £50 a week to £200-£300 a month.
Using a spreadsheet software is perhaps the most helpful way to set up your budget as you can use each empty box as a different day, week or month, and implementing mathematical functions will do all the working out for you, letting you know how much you’ve spent in total and how much of your budget is left for your allotted amount of time.
Be smart with your money
The fine line you have to deal with when having a budget is to be careful and smart with your money while not letting it rule your life. There will be some weeks when you’ll have some money left over (maybe some weeks where you have a bit more from the leftovers of the previous week) that you can use to treat yourself, whether that be a takeaway, a meal out with friends, or a night out. There will be chances for you to still live for yourself!
However, there will come the weeks when you have had to shell out for your food shop, maybe some bits are needed for your house/flat/room, or maybe you need to buy supplies for your course. Times like these will make you question whether you have the money to partake in plans you may have made with friends or new plans created by them, and chances are that you’ll have to sit out some weeks to ensure you have the money to support yourself.
Buy in bulk
When it comes to your food shopping, it is usually more economical to buy ingredients for bulk meals, whether that’s for a pasta bake, lasagna, spaghetti bolognas, or curry. It will be more beneficial to be able to cook a meal and portion it so that it can be reheated and eaten later.
Having these kinds of meals is also healthier than having frozen food every night. Planning your dinners will also give a good indication as to when you will next need to go shopping. Having your dinners stretch for a couple of weeks will save you money in your budget, leaving more for your own use.