Student budgeting tips for summer
Summer 2019 is here and when the sun is out the fun is out! In our previous blog, we discussed a few top tips for enterprising students on how best to make money during the summer as a student. Now, this is all well and good, but if the stories are to be believed, students aren’t generally the best at budgeting, and what’s the point in earning all that cash if you’re going to have nothing to show for it come September? So whether you’re a keen summer earner who wants to have a blast but also keep an eye on the pennies, or if you’re determined that your summer will be dedicated to chilling and chilling ONLY so that loan has got to last, you’ll be wanting to find out some top tips on how to effectively budget, right? Never fear, we’ve compiled a few deceptively simple tricks that will stop any unnecessary spending and might actually help you long term to keep a firm hand on your finances. You can thank us later!
Pay your bills in advance
Unless you’re living in halls, it’s highly likely that you’ll have bills to pay over the summer. Sadly, gas, electric and broadband bills will not wait for you to get back in September, so to avoid sheepishly having to ask your parents to cover your share of the internet bill when you’ve run out of money in August, a great tip is to pre-pay your bills for the time you will be away before you go. While it may be painful at the time shelling out that much money in one go when you realise that the majority of the money you have left is yours and yours alone to go wild with, you’ll thank your past self for being so organised.
Draw out cash weekly
Most people will have an idea of the amount of money they need on a weekly basis outside of bills. We all know roughly how much a pub trip will cost, how much we spent on food etc. so setting a spending limit and drawing that amount of money out in cash at the beginning of the week can be a really effective tool to prevent overspending. You’ll probably want to remove any mobile payment apps from your phone and leave the debit and credit cards at home if you need that little bit of extra self-control. It seems so simple and easy, but by literally limiting your access to money as much as possible outside of what you have set aside for the week you will be shocked at the amount you save on purchases you don’t even notice making normally!
Switch to a budget supermarket
If you’re lucky enough to have your parents foot the food bill over the summer, this one might be a bit irrelevant for you. But, then again, if your parents complain about the huge hike in costs when you’re home, then this tip might be one to share with the whole family. Budget supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl frequently advertise how much lower in cost they are compared to the market leaders and they’re not wrong! Whereas these stores used to have a bit of a negative reputation, their solid product offerings, big name brand dupes and insanely low prices have won many a naysayer over. So if you, or your parents, are wondering how on earth you’re going to keep yourself fed this summer we strongly advise checking out a budget supermarket, even if you’re sceptical!
Learn to cook
With a whole summer ahead of you, it’s the perfect time to try new things and learn new skills. During term time it could possibly be asserted that a lot of students spend a lot of their time utilising many of the student discounts and offers thrown at them by fast food and takeaway joints. So much so perhaps that the grand summation of cooking that happens in most uni flats is beans on toast! With so many tutorials and videos online on how to cook just about anything, and given the absolutely enormous amount of money you’d save making your favourite takeaway as opposed to buying it, there is no excuse not to use summer 2019 as a chance to flex those culinary muscles and learn a really useful skill for life. Dominos will charge you £18.99 for a large pizza – you could make a bigger one from scratch for about a fiver. If that doesn’t convince you, we’re not sure what will!
Always ask for a student discount
Even if the shop you are in doesn’t advertise one, always ask for a student discount! It’s one of the best things about being a student, and they tend to be advertised less throughout the summer as school and university have broken up. Even smaller local stores may offer a cheeky little discount when asked to. Although saving 10% here and there might seem like nothing, it adds up over the year, so if you see a brand offering a discount and it’s something you definitely NEED then snap it up! One thing to be aware of though – offers are designed to try and get people to buy things! Don’t fall into the trap of seeing the discount and the discount alone – if you don’t need something, don’t buy it!
So there you have it! Four top money saving tips to keep you going throughout the summer. Combine this with our money making tips from the last blog and you’ll be on your way to being a summer student mogul, making it rain over all your mates when you make your triumphant return to uni in September! If you’ve got any more top tips, let us know on social media!