Money. Even as a sixth year student in secondary school money is still constantly in the back of my mind – never mind adulting and having to grow up and pay for even more serious and large expenses.
I am at the stage in my life where I am aware of expenses, I’m juggling two part-time jobs as well as school work with a lot on my mind about what I should be putting my money towards. As of next year, I am hoping to be heading off to university which is a very very daunting thought. With that, I am aware student life isn’t cheap and I’ve heard so many nightmare stories. And then there’s also a car to finance, sixth year holiday to pay (of course) and a laptop to buy before next year. All of these are in no means necessities, but they are there and I’ve chosen to have them. I thought I would share with you all some tips for saving your pennies and how to do this (and maybe this will help me to stay motivated to save and not impulse buy as much as I have been doing recently…) There are a tonne more tips out there to research, but I just thought I’d share a few favourites of mine.
Make a list of what you already spend your money on.
This can be things like monthly costs that are constantly there. Whether this is your phone bill, any transport costs you have, lunch money or even iTunes/Spotify payment – list them down. I tend to forget little things that I know I will need within the month and will have to buy. If you have insurance or a bill to pay (for older students perhaps), then remember when it’s due and write that down too.
Get a part-time job
If you don’t already having one, go on a search for somewhere looking to hire and that you would fancy working in. If you get pocket-money or what not, then keep a track of how much you get each week/month and treat it as a wage. Having a job is an income that you will be guaranteed if you have set hours, while also giving you work experience. You would usually be paid either weekly or monthly, in which this allows you to budget your money and know how much you have to work with.
If you have a job, calculate how much you earn monthly and correlate this with your monthly expenses if you have any. Calculate how much you have left after this, and that’s what you have left to put away into savings.
Prioritise your savings
You don’t have to be saving for a specific purpose, you may just be saving for when it’s needed. If you do have something your saving for, or more than one thing, make sure you know how much it will cost you and also which one is most urgent and demanding. I tend to split my wages into percentages. For example, lately I have been saving for car expenses, London and next years holiday. Next years holiday was the largest expense and the one that needs paid off quicker. I committed to 50% of my wages to go towards that, and then 25% in each of the others. Due to being paid in cash and not through bank, this was slightly easier as I could just pop money into jars and whatnot. If you’re paid into your bank, then keep a tally of the money you have saved for each purpose.
Take advantage of student discounts
Uni-Days is a life saver for me. There are so many discounts and codes to find online as well to use for different shops, so if you ever are impulse buying or treating yourself, check to see if there is a discount code for it or use your student card – especially for public transport which is getting ridiculously expensive.
Ask yourself “Do I really need it?”
Impulse shopping. We’ve all been guilty of it and sometimes it’s great to treat yourself now and then, but in moderation. If you have a spending problem, try and limit yourself and ask could you could live without it. Most of the time, it’s a yes. Or there may be a cheaper alternative. Don’t shop at ridiculously high branded shops – chances are, theres a perfectly cheaper item which is exactly the same somewhere else. Do your research and search around before buying anything, maybe that time will also let you reconsider whether you need it! In relation to clothing, I always bring back older clothes that I got bored of a couple of years ago, but as a hoarder, I never threw out. It usually turns out I’ve forgotten about it and now I’m not so bored of it, so I can re-wear it. I can’t even count how many times someone (even close friends and family) have commented on the clothes I’m wearing that I’ve brought back out, and even asked if it were new. For real, everyone forgets you’ve already worn it a gazillion times a few years ago.
Thank you for reading and I hope this at least helped you to organise your saving a little bit – especially with Christmas almost here!
Until next time…
~ K x