Shopping on a Budget

As an undergraduate student, I understand the necessity of setting a realistic budget and how important it is to follow…

As an undergraduate student, I understand the necessity of setting a realistic budget and how important it is to follow this and plan out my spending each week/ month.

Here are my tips for setting up and following a budget. The most important one is organising your spending into the few categories which are priorities for you each week or month, as these are always subject to change depending on your plans!

It is easy to get carried away once the student loan payment comes through into my bank, however by setting a budget, this allows me to ensure I live comfortably throughout the whole term, instead of just the start.

Food

I always budget for food first as this is what I consider to be the most important. I choose to shop at Lidl as it is very budget friendly as this supermarket is reasonable in price.

I also enjoy making use of the Lidl bakery as it is an inexpensive way to only buy what I need, for instance singular bread rolls or paninis, depending upon my lunch choices for the week.

This ensures there is less waste and also does not encourage me to overspend on items I do not need.

I also make use of the ‘Lidl Plus’ app which provides me with coupons and discount codes and also keeps track of my spending and rewards me with free items after spending certain amounts over the month.

I always set a reminder on my phone that goes off in the evenings which reminds me to make a packed lunch, which is another way I save money. Being a master’s student, I am usually on campus for most of the week, which means if I buy lunch instead of making it myself, this cost adds up!

Socialising

As being a master’s student is very demanding and hectic, it is important that me and my course mates have some down time, however due to the nature of being a student, nights out and socialising must be done on a student budget.

Lincoln is a great city which provides lots of student discounts, therefore we always ensure to plan nights out on student nights and by going to bars with the best student deals!

Clothing

If I need any new clothes for an event or just to treat myself, I will always check out what is available on Vinted or Depop first in order to reduce the price and allow myself to buy a few, second-hand items for the price of one brand new item from a high street store.

Gifting

At the start of the month when organising my budget, I always account for gifts such as birthday or anniversary gifts as these can often be costly.

As some months I do not need to buy birthday presents, this money will go into a savings account so that when a gifting occasion does pop up, I am not unprepared.

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