Student edition – How to turn savings month into a savings lifestyle
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Are you craving sushi and a shopping spree but on a kota budget and can only afford window shopping? As a student, you may find yourself living on a “super-tight” budget and the taste of credit can be enticing. However, it can also land you into a pool of debt.
Most students have education loans to consider and making ends meet – should they choose to live away from home. If anything the pandemic has taught us how unpredictable life can be and now is the time to become smarter about the way we spend and save money. Making those rands stretch further can surely set you up for future success and financial independence.
This is possible with a little extra planning, creativity and a whole lot of diligence. You can take budgeting and saving in a positive light and you can be sure not just to save and spend smartly during July Savings Month but all year round.
Here are some tips to help you put your best financial foot forward all year round, according to Budget Insurance.
1. Maintain your budget and bank wisely
If you don’t have a monthly budget, now’s the time to have one. There are plenty of templates on the internet that will help you to get started. Also, check your bank fees carefully and look at the interest you earn on your savings.
Could you be spending less or earning more? Research what other banks offer and look at other ways to invest your money. Do look at what reward programmes are on offer, and take full advantage of them.
2. The 10% saving goal and the 30-day rule
If you’re a student with a part-time job, then you would know that saving a bit every month can be a little difficult, but you should make it a priority. The rule of thumb is to try to keep 10% of your earnings aside for savings.
3. Revise your spending
Look at your eating-out bill. Are there ways to improve your spending habits? Try to create a weekly meal plan.
4. Stick to your goals, but be flexible
Your budget and savings goals can be affected by events out of your control, so you’ll need to revise them accordingly. You may plan to save a certain amount a month, but have to keep a portion back to pay for unexpected expenses.
5. Be open, honest and creative
If you need to make some lifestyle changes for a couple of months, try to come up with creative alternatives to costly activities, like renting a movie and cooking a meal, instead of going out. If you have a gym membership and only make a special appearance every once in three weeks cancel your membership and try morning walks.
6. Take advantage of technology
There are various free apps to help you track your income and expenses. These include Spending Tracker, Sage Pastel My Money, Wallet, Wally, Level Money, Spendee and Mint. Download any of them or other available apps to see which one works best for you.