Being a uni student and having money usually don’t go hand in hand. Chances are that if you’re studying, you’re also a little bit broke. Also, if it’s your first time away from home, managing your own money can be kind of hard. But learning how to budget can stretch your money further, avoid you unnecessary stress, and it’s a very nice skill to have. Here are some tips on how to stop wasting those hard earned dollars.
Make a monthly budget
Budgeting is an essential skill that we all should have. But making and specially sticking to a budget is easier said than done. But if you do this, managing your money will be so much easier. The easiest way to budget is to calculate your total income, and then subtract your most important expenses such as rent, groceries, transport and other bills. If you have any money left, set that aside for some entertaining and savings. There are plenty of apps that can help you create a budget, a quick Google search will return a few. If you’re more old school (like me), just write everything on a piece of paper and put it up in you desk or wall. Also, try sticking to your budget as much as you can! There’s no point in having one if you’re not going to pay attention to it.
Go get a casual or part-time job
This is one of the best ways to improve your personal finances! Having a jobs while studying will give you extra income, which means extra financial flexibility. It will also make your resume more attractive for when you start looking for work after you graduate. If you are interested in finding a job, make sure you check out Career Ready.
Ask yourself if you need it and learn to say no
This is a really tough one. Before you go and buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. More often than not, we find ourselves buying things we don’t really need, and this can be a serious money drain. Buying random stuff feels nice, but try to limit it as much as possible.
Also, learn when to say no to things. I’ve fallen victim to peer pressure way too many times, and probably you have too. It’s Saturday night and your friends invite you out for dinner and drinks. You are a little bit short on cash but decide to go anyway. Then your next trip to the grocery store consists only of Mi Goreng and other noodle variations. Setting priorities and when to say no can be very useful for your finances.
If you are struggling to get your finances together, check out the free Financial Counselling service that the LTSU has. The key to managing your money is to be organised and knowing whether you can afford certain stuff. Good luck with your budgeting adventures and see you in another post!
Pro Tip: If you want to make a quick buck, keep an eye out for Psychology honours students. They usually need participants for their studies and they pay you around $20 an hour to participate! Look out for flyers around campus, specially in the Biological Sciences buildings. They also post on StalkerSpace every now and then.