Financial resolutions for a more prosperous New Year
Salford student accommodation provider Portergate believes now is an ideal time for students to take stock of their situation and make some financial New Year resolutions.
With the expense of Christmas still fresh in the memory – and wallet – the need for good student budgeting and well thought out moneysaving measures is as important as ever.
Here are some simple resolutions you can make towards having a more prosperous 2014:
Making and sticking to a budget is vital. It’s a simple but important process in managing your finances. Just looking at your account balance and working out how much cash you will need every week can make a difference.
Leave your bankcard at home. That way you won’t be tempted to visit the cash machine to pay for that kebab on the way or home, or to head for another round of drinks. Just take out the amount of money you can afford to spend on a night out. Leaving the card at home during the day will also stop spur-of-the-moment purchases that you haven’t budgeted for and don’t really need.
Plan your meals. Shop on a weekly basis and look out for supermarket offers and own-brand foods. With a shopping list you are less likely to make impulse buys. Also if you plan your meals for the week, you are less likely to hit the phone to order a takeaway. Cooking at home is cheaper and it’s also a more healthy option. Cook with your friends and flatmates, it’s a fun way to socialise.
And while we’re on the subject of food, cut back on takeaways altogether. Don’t order a pizza delivery; instead buy a frozen pizza during your weekly shop. Walk past the kebab house and have a bowl of cereal when you get home instead. Statistics suggest students spend on average £54 a month on takeaways – it’s a sobering thought!
Boost your finances. If you are looking to make extra cash, selling old textbooks through sites such as Amazon might be a help. You can also make cash by selling off other unwanted items, such as DVDs and CDs, through sites like musicMagpie or by using eBay.
Take advantage of discounts. Make the most of your NUS card, and look at if it’s worth signing up for an NUS Extra card. Also keep an eye out for discounts in individual stores and seek out vouchers. All can help save the pennies. And if you haven’t got a Railcard consider if getting one might save money on those trips home.
It also pays to look at price comparison sites, to make sure you are getting the best deal. However, before buying anything ask yourself the question: Do I really need this?
As all students know – every penny counts, even when it comes to buying a round of drinks in the Student Union bar. Count the pennies now and at least you’ll avoid a financial hangover.