On a budget? There is a way out

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By Dzhingarov

As a student, you are on a permanent budget because your income is finite. With some courses, you may be able to spare sixteen hours per week to work, but with most courses, you will simply not have the time to earn any extra money. This means that you have to be very careful with the money that you do have, and it means you must learn how to manage your budget. The problem is that at the beginning when you receive your loan money, it looks like it will last forever, until you quickly realize that money dries up faster than a bead of sweat on a dessert highway. Here are a few tips to help you out of trouble.


Learn to eat cheaper and dried foods

You are on a very limited budget, so this is no time to maintain your upper class mentality. Your funds are finite, and as such, if you want any extra money beside what you live on, you will need to learn to love dried and/or cheaper foods. The 20c dried noodles from Wal-Mart may look and taste like shredded wallpaper, but they are cheap and are a quick afternoon meal or breakfast dish. Tinned food is also cheaper and will last a lot longer than many other foods, so are a good buy.


Limit the number of ready-meals you eat

These are expensive, and are never very filling. They are products created by corporations to milk money from lazy people or people who do not have the time to cook. They are formulated so that they leave you feeling hungry again within an hour, and they are priced beyond their value because they are sold for convenience and not nutrition. It is okay to have a few ready-meals upon occasion, after all they are easy, but limit your number as they cost too much money with very little benefit.

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By 401(K) 2012 under CC BY-SA 2.0
By 401(K) 2012 under CC BY-SA 2.0


Eat breakfast every morning and fill yourself up

The fact is that if you eat less then you will save more money. But this is very unhealthy, so what you need to do is stop snacking and just eat three good meals per day. Start with a filling breakfast, then have a semi-filling (and cheap) lunch, and top it off with a large dinner/tea at around 6pm. If you stick to the program and have a very large breakfast, then you will find that you become peckish at lunch time, instead of hungry. You will then be happy with a small cheap lunch, which will save you more money.


Take a packed lunch out with you

This is the cheap as chips way of having lunch without spending very much money. It provides you with a small enough lunch that will not cost you much and will not needlessly fill you up. It will quench your hunger until your bigger meal at the end of the day.


Learn how to budget and force yourself to stick to it

A budget is not what makes or breaks your finances. It is how well that you keep to your budget, which is what makes the difference. You need to come up with a usable and sensible budget that is not too strict, and then you need to work on your discipline so that you stick to your budget.


Don’t over eat if you are full and save the leftovers

When we are full we still tend to clear our plates. We tend to over eat in order to clear the plate and not leave anything to waste. Your new tactic should be to start saving every left over you get and filling your fridge with them. Learn to start saving and cooking your leftovers.

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Take out as much money as you need

When you go out at night for a drink, or out in the day, you should only take the amount you are going to need. Do not take out your credit or debit cards and do not go out with more money than you need. If you go out with more money than you need, then you are bound to spend that money.


The 99c store is not going to save you the most money

The deals at supermarkets are better than those at the 99c store. If you were to buy identical products at a local supermarket and at your 99c store, you will be surprised to learn that you get less from the 99C store.


You can wear the same trousers for at least three days

It takes longer for trousers to start smelling, unless you are prone to accidents. So, wear them for three days if you would like to save a little bit of money. The same is true of jackets, and coats may go a lot longer than three days.