I love having a budget. When I say I have a budget, I mean I write down everything I spend. In the 12 weeks I’ve been here; having to spend over £120 on bus tickets, buy Christmas/Yule presents and materials for my cloak, get my ears pierced, nights out, visits to the beach, attend rituals and circles, workshops and dance classes, and of course, buy food and toilet rolls, cleaning supplies and pay bills; I’ve managed to spend just £465, which makes £38.75 a week.
Without the bus alone, that’s £28.79 a week.
Now, I’ve not included my rent; because to allow this to apply to most readers; you’ve all got houses and it’s likely your food/going out/clubs money is in a different place/separately measured to your mortgage/rent money.
Oh, I need to point out that £26 of that £120 is 3 weeks of bus tickets for January when I return (they come in packs of four; I’ve only used on from that pack this term). So for the money spend this term, my average comes to:
Can you beat that? As you can see from my updates; I get my five a day, make smoothies and spend a good £10 a week on tea alone. I buy any food that I need more often than once a fortnight (milk, fruit, veg and bread) from the co-op on campus.
I also need to point out I went out drinking for both a friend’s birthday and Halloween, I attended three taster dance classes, a make-up tutorial, a wild foods day, three singing workshop opportunities, a druid circle, Handfasting and a wiccan circle. When I did my Yule shopping I bought chocolate seashells and macaroons “just because” and let myself buy expensive organic cucumbers. I didn’t scrimp and save and live in misery to do this. I didn’t hide in my room and only buy milk, bread and pasta.
I shopped around. I wanted two diaries – a small, week to view one and a larger, day to page one. In places like W H Smiths and Rymans (used to be partners), they wanted over £15 for both.
I paid £2.99 for both. The large, day to page diary from Poundland and a £1.99 cat week-to-view diary, with pen and the moon phases in it (added bonus!) from The Works.
It took me perhaps an extra ten minutes to go to those shops and compare the prices in my head. And is ten minutes worth a saving of £10?
It is when you’re a student.
How do you live simply? How do you sort your finances? What would you love to learn most about money? How can I improve on my own finances? I’d love to, by the end of the academic year, be down to an average weekly spending of £20. That would be amazing. Any tips?
Edit: Today I got a bill for last year’s student loan.
Current Debt: £ 6678.24
Due to enter Repayment: 06/04/2012
Any tips on money-making for a student who can’t find a part time job? Current ideas include publishing my book of poetry online, selling the plants of Sussex guide I’ve started from the Wild Plants Day, or allowing adverts here.