Having trouble managing your spending? Always penniless at the end of the month or on the run up to the next student loan instalment? Check out this easy-to-use Money Management Spreadsheet, all you need to do is enter your total budget for the semester, how much your outgoing costs are and your weekly budget and leftover money will be calculated for you.
6‘stop me spending’ solutions
1 – Don’t see a 10% student discount as a deal! Not knocking it, yes it’s a bonus, but it’s not a reason to buy. It rather dangerously serves as that perfect little push of persuasion that sees us heading in the direction of the till with that item we know we can’t really afford. It’s the bargain mentality. It’s worth remembering that a lot of shops offer student discounts on sale items too, and seeing as there seems to be sales pretty much 365 days a year, the 20-30% discounts you can get are the real savings.
2 –Deals get repeated, so it’s fine to snooze and lose! You can do this safe in the knowledge that you can take it up when you next get paid.I’m talking about the likes of Groupon, restaurant vouchers, cheap cinema tickets etc etc. If the deal’s popular, chances are it will be repeated. The worst case scenario is that the original deal will have been tweaked slightly so that it appears to be a new offer. Deals rotate, so take advantage at a time that is financially best for you. If you can’t afford the Groupon deal this term, then there will probably be the same offer next term. With the abundance of restaurant vouchers,you will never have to pay full price for pizza or pasta again!
3 – Go for pre-paid.
Just as you might pay and go on Oyster Cards and mobile phones, it’s also possible to get prepaidcredit cards
, essentially - back to front credit cards. You can pay before you spend. Ok, so you might argue it defeats the object of a credit card – which is usually the ability to access money you don’t physically have – but it’s just a case of using the card differently. It serves a far more debt-friendly purpose. Just think, you’re not really going to notice £50 out of your loan at the beginning of term, but you will be grateful for it come the end of term. The idea being (in theory) that you are able to temporarily forget the prepaid card’s existence. (Maybe this is the time for the credit card in an ice block in the freezer trick!)
4 –Never step foot in the supermarket with an empty stomach or a hangover. And when you do go, make a shopping list and stick to it.
5 - Cut more than just your phone bill.
There a big savings to be made when it comes to things like car insurance
, and water bills. If you can, compare gas and electricity prices
, it’s all about options and knowing what’s available to you. What’s 10 minutes out of essay research to do some money saving research? This might not be a quick financial fix; it can’t harm to be more informed on money saving solutions for next term.
6 – Have a ‘come dine with me' week. This could potentially become expensive, so set a maximum spend, say - no more than £2.50 per head. That way the host doesn’t spend a fortune. If four people do this, then you might be spending ten pounds on dinner one evening, but you are effectively getting four evenings worth of meals. The added bonus, it’s social, fun and easier to cook for four than for one.