I like to think I’m pretty good at saving. During my undergrad I was putting money aside to travel to Brazil a few times, and I was still saving a decent amount annually. This has really helped for this year, now I’m only studying and not working, and living off family help rather than a student loan. (Touch wood) but I have avoided entering my overdraft 100%, so to me an overdraft is not a safety net to use freely, but one as a last resort.
Currently I am cutting back so I can comfortably afford a trip to Portugal in April, and a music festival in July (Y Not in Derbyshire!). Here are ways I am managing my limited funds so I can afford to fun things that will leave me with great memories.
Using Excel to plan a monthly budget, figuring out each thing will cost (food, rent, entertainment etc) and sticking to it (!!) is a life saver when needing to know how much I can save a month.
Buy only clothes you REALLY want/need
This has been easier since living in Spain because when I buy clothes I have to be aware I have to pack them in a single suitcase to take back to the U.K, but even before I would resist buying on impulse, instead leaving it for a week or so and if I still wanted the item I’d buy it.
Learn to say no
It can be too tempting to say yes to every invite – even when you know you can’t afford it. People will understand if you don’t have the funds, and before committing yourself be honest that you need to work out your budget to see if you can afford it. If you say no to little things or things you’re not too enthusiastic about, that way you can afford the more fun things.
UK supermarkets are great for offering “basics”, which are cheaper versions of your everyday purchases, and are really no different from more expensive brands. It might even help to limit meat/fish purchasing when cooking at home – it’s cheaper and healthier. Learn to make delicious foods from scratch, rather than ready made meals. And cook in bulk to either freeze meals or enjoy throughout the week.
Enjoy time at home with friends
Instead of eating out, all share the ingredients cost to cook at home. Usually this is well received as who doesn’t like to save money whilst socialising. And friends won’t judge you for turning up in comfy clothes and zero make up.