Although it can be difficult; living and paying rent on a student salary is not impossible. You can manage your money and have fun while a student without going broke with a little planning, self-control, and creativity. Here are some suggestions for creating a budget while living and paying rent on a student salary.
1) Keep tabs on your income and expenses. Knowing how much money you have coming in and going out each month is the first step in creating a budget. To keep track of your income from sources like scholarships, grants, loans, part-time jobs, and family support, you can use a spreadsheet, an app, or a notebook. Then, make a list of all of your fixed costs, including your rent, utilities, books, tuition, and insurance. Next, make an estimate of your variable costs, including those for clothing, food, entertainment, and personal care. To determine how much money you have left over or how much you need to save, subtract your total expenses from your total income.
2) Prioritise your needs and wants. You can begin to prioritise your spending once you have a clear picture of your income and expenses. The 50/30/20 rule, which recommends allocating 50% of your income to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings, is an easy way to accomplish this. Your needs include things like rent, food, and utilities that you absolutely must have in order to live and function. Your wants are the things you like but don’t need, like eating out, seeing movies, or getting new clothes. Your savings are the funds you set aside for long-term objectives like debt repayment, emergency fund building, or retirement.
3) Reduce unnecessary spending. Spending less on things you don’t actually need or use is one of the simplest ways to save money. For instance, you can stop paying for memberships or subscriptions that you rarely use, switch to a more affordable phone or internet plan, prepare meals at home rather than ordering takeout, shop at thrift stores or online marketplaces rather than purchasing brand-new clothing, or take the bus or bike instead of driving or getting a taxi. You can also look for ways to reduce your fixed costs, such as negotiating with your landlord for a lower rent, submitting a scholarship or financial aid application, purchasing used textbooks or renting them online, or splitting costs with roommates or other students.
4) Look for ways to make extra money. Finding ways to make extra money is another way to increase your income and balance your budget. For instance, you can look for part-time jobs such as tutoring, babysitting, dog walking, or food delivery both on and off campus. You can also sell items like clothing, books, electronics, and furniture that you no longer need or use. You can also use your talents or interests, such as writing, graphic design, photography, or blogging, to make money online.
5) Reward and enjoy yourself. You don’t have to deprive yourself of everything that makes you happy in order to stick to a budget. As long as you stick to your spending plan and don’t go overboard, it’s important to treat yourself occasionally and have fun. Every week or month, reward yourself with a small indulgence like a coffee, a movie ticket, or a new book. The park, library, museum, or a nearby event are just a few examples of free or inexpensive things you can do with friends or family.
It may initially seem difficult, but budgeting while living and paying rent on a student salary is not impossible. You can live comfortably and happily without compromising your financial security by implementing these suggestions and practicing sound money management.