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Advice for StudentsLiving away from homeMoney

Simple tips to help you manage your finances

6 March 2023

Moving into university brings with it a lot of new responsibilities and jobs. Handling your finances and making the best of them is just one of them, although, it is one of the most life-altering ones. Especially when you have never had to deal with grocery shopping and budgeting before. So, here are some of my simple tips that can help you manage your finances a bit better:


I cannot reiterate just how important it is to draw up a budget at the start of the month. This might sound simple but it can be complicated. You need to sit down at the start of the month and note down just how much you wish to spend in that month depending on factors like how much you have earned/ saved. When I ask you to budget, I definitely mean divide your exact budget into smaller segments like ‘groceries’, ‘outings’, ‘travel’ and ‘miscellaneous’. The harder part is to follow through with this budget. There will definitely be times when you wish to overspend but that is exactly when the miscellaneous section will help you. Whatever money you save in a month, you can add to the miscellaneous section for the next month and spend accordingly.

2. Make a shopping list.

One of the biggest expenses we come across is definitely the grocery shopping run which never seems to be under budget. Don’t worry, we all go through this. The simplest way to combat this is to write down an exact list of things that you have run out of and need to buy. Don’t let the tempting aisles of your supermarket lure you in! Always try to stick to your list. Of course, in your shopping list, add space for an item or two that you can treat yourself with. Also, try to shop once every week and not every few days. This is a tip that can majorly help you maintain your budget. If you shop only once a week, chances of you overspending on snacks and treats are low and you can also plan it better.

3. Make conscious choices

Yes, yes, I know how it sounds but you need to remember that small choices can lead to big differences. By this, I mean that sometimes, instead of just going to that one cafe you like, cook something at home or maybe run to a friend’s place and cook together. It is also important to remember that things like spending money on buses rather than walking can add up at the end of the month. When making choices like where to shop, try to compare the prices of essential items that you spend on and pick the cheaper supermarket like Aldi or Lidl. Moreover, choosing activities like spending time in parks and museums instead of paying for entries can help you relax a little.

In the end, please try to understand that it can be super tough to stick to a rigid budget. So, do not stress if you overspend a little on some days. Try to cut down on unnecessary expenses on some other days but keep powering through and you will be just fine.