💸 How to Set Your Budget

You have x amount of money, and y number of months to make it last. With some basic division, you can easily work out how much you’re able to spend each week, but realistically you’re not going to be sticking exactly to that figure.

Many may feel that they don’t need to budget, but think of it this way, your financial responsibility throughout your time at University is to put your future self in an easier and more comfortable position. If you start saving now, the idea of buying your first home, car, or whatever else you need may seem less daunting when it comes to it! I’m a business student, so let’s consider this in business terms.

Reducing your costs

Remember, every pound saved puts you a step closer to that Tesla Model S! We can start with the basics. Luxuries are important to a lot of us in maintaining a certain quality of life, but think about which are more important than others. For example, going out for a meal with friends is a good way to spend money in my eyes, but have you ever gone out for food just to avoid having to cook? I’m certainty guilty of that from time to time and have wasted money as a result.

Transport costs can add up quickly too, especially if you travel home a lot. It’s worth looking into all the options you have for travel, in case there are more affordable options you weren’t aware of. If you’re from the West Country like me, the South-West Falcon coach service operates from the coach station, and goes all the way up to Bristol Airport, currently priced at just £9 for a student return ticket. Even if you’re not from around Bristol, perhaps this could take you part way home to cut down the train fare?

Increasing your revenue

Spending less is good, but earning more is better. There’s lots of part-time work available in Plymouth if you’re after some extra cash, but some of the most efficient ways to make money can be from the University itself. As a Student Ambassador, you can assist in the operation of University events such as Open Days, helping you build experience while getting paid. There are often employability events at the University in which you’ll be able to enquire about this role, among others.

Having competed a placement year, I couldn’t recommend doing so enough. Not only has it been incredibly valuable for gaining work experience, but it’s also a great opportunity to be paid a full salary whilst still taking advantage of cheap student accommodation and retail discounts. Among a placement’s many advantages is this ability to better set yourself up for the future.

Most people aren’t going to police every penny they spend. It’s just thinking about where you can easily make little changes to save, e.g. buying non-branded versions of products, or doing more shopping at the big supermarket and less at the local convenience store. I’ll sometimes pay a bit more for an immediate convenience, but if we can resist it our future selves with thank us!

Talk soon people,
Harry