When I first moved to uni I had no idea how to budget at all. At home whenever I got money from my part-time job, I was very guilty of spending a lot of it very quickly. Since I’ve come to uni, I’ve had to learn how to budget and not blow all my student loan at once. I’ve done this in a few ways:
Do a weekly shop: within the first few weeks of starting uni and cooking for yourself, you’ll figure out roughly what meals you’ll eat throughout the week, and so you can bulk buy non-perishable items like pasta and tinned soup. Pasta is great as a base for pretty much anything, and is so cheap as well.
Buy your groceries online and get it delivered: this is especially good if you team up with friends and split the delivery cost. I found that actually going into the supermarket meant that I often bought random things that I didn’t need, like breaded scampi or rum (especially as I don’t even like rum?!), so not having to walk past things I don’t need has really saved me a lot of money.
Only take cash out on nights out: that way you can’t max out your credit card buying rounds of drinks for your friends. It also means that you know exactly what you’re spending so that instead of going on a spending spree, you can actually see the money leaving your hands, making you less likely to spend too much and wake up with a headache and no money!
Washing: washing your clothes at uni can be quite expensive, especially if you just have a few bits you need to clean, so try putting your washing in with your friend’s. This works especially well if you want to keep colours and whites separate but you don’t want to waste money on a few white socks and a t-shirt.
Buying new clothes: If you want new clothes, try the thrift shop near the Arndale in Manchester City Centre. It’s so cheap to buy really nice clothes for a few pounds. They have designer clothes there too and really comfy hoodies, so you don’t have to spend a fortune on new clothes. There are also loads of secondhand, vintage shops in the Northern Quarter, where you can pick up a bargain.
Don’t get the bus, walk. The first few weeks of uni I got the bus everywhere and spent quite a lot of money taking short journeys. The Arndale is only a 20 minute walk away from university and the train stations are even closer, so there’s no real need to catch the bus or get a taxi really. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, so it’s a really easy way to save a few pounds every week.