As a student, it can become very easy to lose track of your day-to-day spending. If there’s one thing we’ve never been taught in our schooling years, it’s how to organise our finances properly. Although university life is a great way to start learning!
Keep track of your expenses
This is where all the accounting students can put their skills into practice. For the rest of us, it’s still a rather quick and easy concept to learn. Make a spreadsheet in Excel and draw up all your income sources and outgoings to calculate your weekly and monthly budget. LSE broadly estimates that students should allow £1,200-£1,300 per month for general living expenses. Living in one of the most expensive student cities makes it even more crucial to keep on top of your spending habits. It’s also best to keep a pile of all your receipts so you don’t have to go on a trip down memory lane to try and remember your previous expenditure activity. Always remember to leave an allowance for emergency spending. Simply pop all your values into the boxes and it will be calculated for you effortlessly. After you’ve made your outline, be sure to stick to it or it would’ve been a big waste of time.
Set yourself realistic financial goals
Start by separating your expenses into necessities and leisure-based ones. Look at the things you could cut out and try to make more savings out of them. If you find that the gym membership you joined at the beginning of the year is making you lose shape financially, try some more creative ways of staying fit. Canceling your online streaming subscription(s) during exam months if you know you’re not going to have much time to use it, will also help you benefit from further savings. A regular take-awayer? Maybe it’s time to force yourself to become a better cook. Invite your friends over on the weekends and bulk buy your groceries so that you don’t eat too much out of your budget. If you really can’t bring yourself to cook often, even just making your own snacks, sandwiches and drinks (juices, coffee, tea) regularly will help your wallet massively. Remember, though, that you should never compromise healthy eating over your budget!
The future lies in fintech
Nowadays, everything is accessible in real-time through your fingertips. Many apps electronically convert your bank accounts and collate them all in one location to make it easier to manage your spending. No more of the constant flipping through several different mobile banking apps that can make your mind go haywire! Make sure to try them out.
Another great option would be to open a normal current or savings account for your income streams and a digital bank account (Monzo, Revolut, Starling Bank) so that you only transfer a certain amount of money over when you need to use it. This way you’ll be less tempted to overspend.