BUDGETING FOR THE YEAR AHEAD


BY Cheng Ma

It’s a common stereotype that students are always broke, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

While a lot of us might only be working part-time while we study, there’s loads of ways to make your money go further. Check out these tips to help you make it to your next pay day.

Prepare Your Food

Taking the time to meal prep and bring it into work or uni will not only help your bank balance but also ensure that you stay healthy, since you are aware of the different ingredients that you have put into your meal.

Use Electronic or Second-Hand Textbooks

Textbooks are an essential part of the university experience, but there aren’t any rules on whether you get them hard copy, new, electronic or second hand. If you are short on cash this month, perhaps have a look at renting your textbook through Chegg or purchasing 2nd hand textbooks from the UNSW Discussion Group or Student VIP to save yourself a few dollars.

Student Discounts

As a student you have access to a wide range of discounts for entertainment, food and travel expenses. Take advantage of these discounts when you go out and be sure to always have your concession card on you.

Student Banking Fees

An example of a discount available to students are the relatively cheap or even waived fees for using a bank’s savings and credit card accounts. If you are able to find a bank that doesn’t charge you for your use of cash, it’s one less expense to worry about.

Establish Your Spending Limits

Make sure that whenever you review your budget you establish spending limits. You can work out this amount by evaluating what goals you would like to save towards, such as an emergency fund, a house down-payment or for current debt you may have.

A great way of keeping track of this is to differentiate between your “needs” and “wants”. The secret to saving is to limit your spending on “wants”. A great way to keep track of whether you are breaching your spending limit is to record your spending on your phone every time you buy something. By keeping track of your purchases, you give yourself more self- control over your budget and are constantly reminding yourself of your spending limits.

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