One of my strongest assets is that I am very good at managing my money. When I was small, my parents didn’t have a stable job and we didn’t have the luxury of buying cakes, Barbies or clothes. Everything was donated by rich relatives or the Church. Going to my friends’ house and playing was a good way to eat brioches and drink coke which was rarely bought in my house. Nor that I complain about this, it’s a different experience and definitely taught me how to be conscious with my money and work for everything I have. Finances for especially for students is a tough topic because many live on student’s loans, have part-time jobs and if they do have a scholarship, it might be just enough to survive (welcome real life).
I don’t struggle much with money 1. because I have a scholarship and Nottingham, the place where I live, is a very affordable city which allows me to travel, go out and eat in restaurants, buy branded items and have a very comfortable life; 2. as said previously, I know how to make a living out of the bare minimum.
Hardship taught me how to make a living out of the bare minimum.
Fixing your bank check won’t be easy. As for everything, changing habits requires commitment and hard work. It’s a journey of success and failure and there is no need to get upset if you don’t diligently commit to the plan every day! Realising that you have a problem with money is the first step for changing habits and with a few more tips you can start getting better and get better at managing your finances!
GROCERY SHOP. I don’t go to the grocery store anymore, I buy online. Luckily, home delivery is very cheap and I get my food delivered at my doorstep every 10 days/2 weeks. Many argue that the quality of the food isn’t the same. To be fair, I never had any problem and I am satisfied with the items 99.9% of the time. I buy in bulk and freeze food if I realise that I won’t be able to eat everything within one week. Why online shopping will make a huge difference in your bank account? Because you buy the stuff that you actually need. Any time you go to the store you probably buy at least 6/7 items that you don’t need or already have in your cupboard. Online shopping helped me massively in reducing food waste too. When I start running out my fave food, I start looking in every corner of my cupboards, finding new recipes and getting creative with the food I already have without buying more. Plus, I know exactly, how much I spend on food shopping every month, which is about £100.
CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES. This is one of my fave tips. The way I get to save money while still having cracking outfits is buying second-hand or items on sale. You might be surprised how many brand new items you can find second-hand because rich people buy clothes, wear an outfit once and they dismiss it. I will show two of my best outfits here, one for going out and the other one for professional occasions, all second-hand. The leather skirt is a gift from my rich aunties, the see-through blouse, the blazer and trousers bought for £5 each in Nottingham
Same applies for furniture in your house. This is really useful for students who stay in a place for a year and move out. There are loads of buy/sell Facebook groups for students, websites such as Gumtree in the UK or eBay where you can buy all the stuff you need for the house, a bike, a guitar, sports equipment etc.
Shopping second-hand is the new black!
TRANSPORTATION. How do you move around? With your car, public transport of walking/cycling? I use my bike to go everywhere and if I can’t use it, I walk. I love it, plus I hate cars and all the pollution they create. Walking is more appropriate for short distances and consider buying a bike longer distances. The amount of money you save is incredible and if it is a good way to introduce cheap workouts in your daily routine too. This is a snap of myself with my fave handbag: my bike helmet! Really couldn’t ask for a better accessory.
GOING OUT. If you tend to overspend on a night out, the solution isn’t staying home. Too boring. My advice is to go out and bring a limited amount of money with you. £10, £20 or £50 and set a limit on how much money you are gonna spend on that night. Leave your bank card at home and avoid borrowing money from friends. If you don’t want to limit yourself because you really want to enjoy and don’t stress about money, then cut down on the number of night outs. Do you really have to go out on a Monday or Tuesday night? It’s okay to miss out, above all, if you struggling with saving. The other thing you can try is staying home rather than going out and organise an event at your house or at friends’. You don’t have to stay home every Saturday night but every now and then isn’t really a problem, is it?
Finally, before making any new purchase, ask yourself: Do I really need a new purse, blazer, boots, lipstick etc? I am sure you don’t! I used to fall into the trap of buying all the cool things I saw on Instagram from my fave influencers. I stopped doing that. If they showcase a new outfit or style, I check my closet and see if I already have an item that I can use and adapt to replicate that style rather than buying new stuff.
Do I really need a new purse, blazer, boots, lipstick etc?
Hope this is helpful, stay tuned for new next article on how to make extra money as a savvy student!