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Reflection on my budgeting skills throughout university and advice I would give to students

4 Rhagfyr 2020

Budgeting is a key part of student life. I believe budget skills are important to learn about as a student and you’ll then be able to take these skills forward as you graduate and get a full time job. 

In my first year, I definitely had the least knowledge about budgeting. I struggled to budget and I also didn’t know the tips that you gather with experience of being a student, some of which I will cover in this blog. In my first year, I used to have the same meals a lot, I think this is definitely something I learned to change in my first year. Collecting a variety of meal ideas allows for change in the meals you have and also allows you to budget more. 

In my second year, I definitely learned more about budgeting. I had a washing machine in the house, which was such an amazing feeling after paying for washing in my first year. We could also walk to a Lidl which makes it easier to budget, in my first year we had a Sainsbury’s which was more expensive. I watched my bank account more in my second year and would only buy items if they were ‘necessary’. 

I am now in my third year, although only being in my first semester, I have learnt such a lot about budgeting. I have gained so many more meal ideas this semester and will make more meals that use food like pasta and potatoes that are cheap to buy. I have also cut out a lot of meat in my diet which has helped my food bill to be cheaper. When using sachets like fajita mixes or curry sachets I use half a sachet for one meal and half a sachet for another. In addition to this, I also freeze meals if I have leftover dinner which can be frozen.  

A banking tip I have is, if you are with Nationwide they do E-savers which are little files on your online banking, You can name the files and then transfer money from your normal account to your E-Savers. You can then transfer money out of the files when appropriate. I have found this really useful as a student, to help me to save up. 

Spreadsheets and tables are your best friend when it comes to budgeting! Creating spreadsheets and tables can really help to budget. Save the student has a home budget worksheet that is already created for you! You can also buy budget sheet pads, Wilko’s normally sell these when bringing out back to school stationery before September. 

Mobile phone apps are another way of keeping track of your outcome and income. – This link gives you lots of budgeting app ideas. From my experience, a lot of students find budgeting apps helpful and easy to access. 

I hope this blog has been useful! If you have any questions about Cardiff or Cardiff University, please feel free to message me using the UniBuddy service.