It`s a new year, we`ve made our resolutions, but let`s be honest… Sticking to your student budget is difficult. Follow these tips and hopefully this year you`ll have a little bit of extra cash!
Be realistic about your budget
When you sit down and make your budget be realistic with yourself about how much money you should allocate to necessities, emergencies, and your fun expenses. If you know a friend is coming to visit and you will likely be going to restaurants, then be sure to set aside money for the visit and overestimate how much you will spend. It is easier to stick to a budget that has a little room for adjustments. Depending on your job, you may be able to put in a few extra hours and earn a little bit more, especially if you work at home.
Stick to the Grocery List
Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry, you will buy a lot more than you planned. Before you go to the store plan out your meals for the week and make a list of what you need to buy. When you get to the store, stick to the list! Snacks are great but you do not need to buy the 4 bags of chips simply because they are on sale for $11.00.
Meal prep can help you avoid eating out at restaurants. On Sunday night, put together some meals for yourself to eat throughout the week, Buddha bowls, pasta dishes, and salads are a few ideas of what you can prep throughout the week. The internet has thousands of different meal prep bowls ideas, find the dishes that you like!
Groceries have a continuous stream of sales and coupons in their stores. Whether it be online, in the newspaper or store flyers find coupons for the food that you need to buy. Need an expensive item for a dish you want to make? Wait a bit and see if it goes on sale, you can save some money.
Set Aside Money for Emergencies
Life is unpredictable and you never know what could happen. If possible, set aside money for car troubles, unexpected medical bills, vet bills or any other emergencies that can arise.
Review Weekly Spending
When you have made your budget and allocated money to each expense it is important that you track the money you are spending. Use a spreadsheet and keep track of all your receipts to know how much money you are spending. Each week sit down and look at your expenses to see if you are on track to be within your monthly budget.
Click Here for a budgeting spreadsheet!