Students, especially those that do not get their little sausage fingers on maintenance loans, often struggle financially. To help combat their struggles, there are tools such as budgets (a spreadsheet that yells at you constantly for spending any money). This week we’ll take a look at how to survive with as little as possible.
When I started uni, I calculated that you could spend as little as £9 for food per week. This, however, guarantees a very low life quality. You’ll be spending your money almost exclusively at pound shops. I would not recommend this lifestyle. Canned spaghetti is really cheap and extremely disgusting.
Obviously, you can make your life quality much higher (for not that much more per week) if you cook. Cooking your own food is a good skill to possess. If you feel you are helpless don’t worry, it can be taught and learned. On average you would be spending about £6 per cooking – that comes to about £1.50 a meal. You do the maths.
In order to have the ingredients and to spend as little as humanly possible, you should always be on a lookout for new offers and rewards provided by the grocery chains. Personally I am almost exclusively using Tesco as a grocery supplier. This enables me to collect their Clubcard points quite quickly. You can then spend the points to make your grocery shop cheaper, or you could get three times the value if you use them with one of their partners (for example Cineworld). No matter where you shop, you should always use offers (50% off, buy 1 get 1 free, 2 for £££) and compare prices from other shops you might know. Click here for a smart way to see what’s cheap on the internet!
It is also worth having some money to hand in case of emergency. Your shoes are literally breaking apart? There’s a hole in your pants? You’ve got terrible Manflu and are dying? (Been there, done that – women have no idea what we go through!) Some cash on hand is always… excuse the pun… handy.
Budgeting will always help you with your finances. Knowing how much you can afford to spend on a night out is invaluable. Drinking too much and disregarding your inner accountant is something that will eventually happen. If it comes to that you can always recover. It’s happened to me a couple of times.
Budgets will always work differently for different people. You should see what works for you and try to stick to it. If you can save some money on the side you are on a good track.