Mohammed Bendaanane Written by
from Morocco

MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship

Being on a lock-down is certainly not the most pleasant experience one can have, especially when you are an international student who moved to England all excited for travel and new discoveries. However, this situation can make you see things from a different perspective. This is what happened to me when I started rethinking my budgeting and where my money actually goes. Here are 3 lessons that I have learnt.

You should make the most of your groceries

We all have our weak moments and opt for that takeaway pizza instead of standing 30-45 minutes in the kitchen to make a proper diner. That was me and I used to hide behind excuses like: “I studied so hard at the library today, I need a treat”. A daily treat is not a treat. In the past, I usually ended up throwing away one third of my groceries because food expires before I actually cook it. It was not good!

As soon as I started staying home, I discovered that everything you buy from the shops can contribute to make a nice and nutritious dish if you make the effort to make it. It saved me a lot from unnecessary and unhealthy takeaways and I started eating healthier and tastier, while obviously spending less.

You can have fun and enjoy drinks at home

During this lock-down, I discovered how much money I was spending in night outs without even realising it. Well, not many people can actually be 100% rational after having many drinks, can they? Cutting night out expenses made me realise that if I skipped one night-out per month, I could have paid one month rent. Some might disagree but, think of it, if you can stay in and enjoy a cosy night at home. Constant night-outs are not good for your budget. But still, drink moderately!

You don’t need 3 Starbucks coffee per day

Coffee lovers will recognise themselves in here. I did not realise that cutting off coffee purchase from my daily life will give me extra money to cover groceries for a whole week until the lock-down happened. This also applies for all the purchases I used to make between lectures just because my classmates are buying things. Social influence is a thing. At home, you can make your own coffee or tea and spend less.