Produced by Luciana Figueiredo
I am Trine Olsen from Denmark studying MSc in Forensic Anthropology. Often, a part of life as a student is living on a budget. This can feel a little restrictive and sometimes stressful, but if you keep your wits about you, it can be done. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to get a better grip on your personal economics.
Log your expenses
If you are having trouble getting a comprehensive overview of your spending, I recommend taking a critical look at your normal “month of spending”. For a month, write down everything you spend, every little thing.
At the end of the month, sit down and take a look at where your money went. It’s very easy to overlook all the impulse buys or insignificant expenses, but they do stack up. If you are more aware of where your money goes, it’s easier to spend it sensibly going forward.
Packed lunch equals pocket cash
Food from the uni cafes is great, yet it can be quite costly in the long run. If you spend £3 a day on lunch, you will spend a whopping £60 in a month! Bringing your lunch from home can really help to cut spending, though it does take a little time.
If you’re not used to packing lunch, it may take a little practice to find something that works best for you. Scour the internet for lunch suggestions, pack it the day before and you’re on your way to some great savings.
Don’t drink and swipe
One thing that can really set you back, money-wise, is going out. A big money problem for many students is going out when you already had a few drinks at home – spending money seems like no big deal. You swipe that credit card to abandon and when you wake up the next day, you only have enough funds to eat oatmeal for the rest of the week. One thing you can do in that instance, is to only bring cash with you to the bar. That way, you can’t spend more than what you decided to spend when you were sober and responsible.
Designing a cheaper meal
We all need food. It can be so expensive though, especially if you don’t plan your meals at all! However, you can save a lot of money simply by taking the time to plan your meals ahead of time. Look for deals in your local supermarket and design a week worth of food from that.
Learning to cook instead of eating ready-made meals can cut costs as well. Start by finding easy recipes such as Chili Con Carne or One Pot Pasta. You will find plenty of tutorials on YouTube. If you cook a large portion, it can last you a couple of days. You might even make enough to freeze some and keep it for busy times.
Remember, money isn’t everything – except when you don’t have any. So, get to saving those pounds!
By Trine Olsen, Denmark, MSc in Forensic Anthropology