Student Spending – How To Give Your Budget A Serious Workout

The subject of how to possibly get by on a student budget may be the quintessential cliché, but is at the same time one of overwhelming importance. The simple fact of the matter is that even in the best of instances, the average student is forced to pull off the mother of all balancing acts just to make ends meet. And given the fact that all of this must be done while studying extremely hard…at least in theory…it’s hardly easy going.

On the plus side, time has taught us that there are various ways and means by which even the most meagre of student budgets can be stretched much further than they may otherwise reach. After all, the last thing any hardworking student wants is to also bear the burden of struggling financially – something that often turns out to be a reality for so many.

So for those who prefer to make their money go as far as possible while at the same time getting the most out of student life in general, here’s a quick look at a few essential tips from the experts:

1 – Select the Right Housing

First and foremost, the biggest and most inescapable expense of all will of course always be student housing bills. The finest student accommodation in St Andrews for example doesn’t come free of charge, which in turn means that this should be one of the most carefully considered expenses of all. The key here is to remember that just because you can technically cover the monthly rent does not necessarily mean you can afford the place. Once you factor in utility bills, grocery shopping, transport and all other essential living costs, you soon realise that rent really is only one piece of the puzzle. So when it comes to selecting the right housing, be sure to weigh up total costs – not just the monthly rent bill.

2 – Don’t Be Too Frugal

Frugality is the friend of every student, but there is such a thing as taking things too far. While it’s of the utmost importance to live within your means, it’s also worth remembering that the tighter you are with the spending at all times, the more likely you are to have something of a meltdown and go on a spending binge. It’s a case of balancing the way you live and the expenses you can’t avoid each month in such a way as to facilitate a decent quality of life on a day to day basis, as opposed to struggling one week and going over the top the next.

3 – Beware Peer Pressure

Perhaps the single biggest mistake so many students make when it comes to overspending is letting peer pressure influence their better judgment. The simple fact of the matter is that if you’re already running on empty and don’t expect to see any more cash for a while, that frenzied night on the town simply isn’t within your means. Chances are you’ll find a way of making it happen if you really want to, but at the expense of living comfortably for the next couple of weeks/months. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but you’ll soon regret it.

4 – Embrace Student Deals

OK, here’s the thing – H&M might not be your favourite store on the High Street, but if they offer you say 20% off everything as a student, you need to make it your new favourite. This applies to pretty much anything and everything where student discounts can make things cheaper for you – there are thousands of them out there.  So instead of waiting for a discount to come along for the stores and products you like, try switching what you like to the stores and products you can afford.

5 – Shop Online

A quick tip but an important tip nonetheless, pretty much every imaginable purchase on the face of the earth can now be made online considerably cheaper than on the High Street. Not only this, but there are thousands of online coupon codes doing the rounds every day – all of which are totally free and could save you a fortune on plenty of essentials.

6 – Shop in Bulk

Last but not least, you could very well stack up some pretty tasty savings by getting into the habit of doing your food shopping in bulk. Quite simply, the more of anything you buy, the more you save – instead of making a two-portion curry therefore, consider ramping it up to ten portions and freezing the rest for future meals. Over time, shopping and cooking like this could cut your expenses in half.

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