The Quick Budgeting GuideThe PANDA Way
Most students have never budgeted before, in fact, we found that only 33% of students have used a budget plan. Make a plan before fresher’s week drains you of everything you have! Don’t know what to budget for? Don’t worry, the PANDA team have you covered! We’ve put together a list of ways we budgeted through university to help you out.
Yes, we know some of these tips aren’t fun, especially when we tell you that you don’t need the new iPhone, but follow closely and we could help you save a few pennies to get you through university life, as well as allowing for the odd night out.
5 Step Budget Guide
1. Work out your necessities
The first step is to work out your income and your necessities for the month. Your income is anything you receive, pay from part-time work (after tax), maintenance loan, grants, and money withdrawn from Bank of Mum and Dad. Your outgoings are your rent, bills, groceries and anything else you need to pay for to survive. Make a list of the things you actually need, not the things you want. We suggest you figure out your expenses for the week, and then make sure that it fits in with your monthly budget. Once you have a breakdown of the cost for the weeks and months, see if it fits in with your maintenance loan. This way you can predict if you’re going to be short on cash earlier and gives you chance to find other ways to get some money.
2. Cut down on cost
Now you have a basic idea of the cost of your necessities, try to cut down on each category. Can you rent somewhere cheaper? Can you save on your energy bills by switching? Or can you spend less on your weekly food shop? Check our cooking blog for some affordable meal ideas!
You should make sure you focus on spending on your necessities before anything else, but research to see if you can cut down in certain areas. Any money you save you can put towards a night out or that new iPhone!
- Nights out
Now you’ve cut down on your necessities and are now saving on your weekly expenses, you want to have a certain amount left over for going out (let’s face it, you’re going to go out one way or the other). So if you go out twice each week, set a maximum budget. Keep it low, somewhere around the region of £20, and stick to it!
One helpful piece of advice, if you’re one of those who takes their debit card out and ends up spending way more than planned, then leave it at home! Take out cash for the night and stick to what you have. Leaving your card at home eliminates the temptation to buy another round!
- Rainy day funds
Have a rainy day, or even a separate special event fund. Save up for this by taking 5-10% off any income you get and put it in a separate account. You can slowly save for those days where the world is against you and you need some additional £££. Doing this will allow you to have spare cash for events like your birthday or you may be able to book a holiday.
- Time for an income boost!
Hopefully you have figured out some more ways to save and cut down on unnecessary spending. If you have tried all of these and find that you’re still in the red, we have some more ideas to help you along. Check out our tips for ways to earn more £££.
our KEY TIPS
1. The most obvious tip but often gets pushed to the side... Make sure you earn more than you spend! This will really determine can you afford those new designer shoes that you really ‘want’.
2. Need? Want? Make sure you ask this all important question before buying anything.
3. Those side funds are going to make all the difference when your birthday hits or when tickets are released for that festival you really want to go to. It's important to budget and save for fun days out.
4. Never go past your allowances! If you have a set budget for a night out, take out that allowance in cash and lock away your cards so you don’t go over them.
5. Don’t throw stuff away! Has it got a value? You can probably make some money from it to increase that bank balance of yours.
6. Have a 2nd account. Put all of your income in your second account with a direct debit set up to feed your expenses account on a weekly basis.
7. The best tip for budgeting or even saving is to not to give into peer pressure. Don’t try keep up with your friend who always has the newest sneaks or that friend who's always going out. Live within YOUR means!
Have you ever budgeted before? What was your game plan? Comment below and let us know.