Living as a student is very complicated. It is often the first time you are living away from home, fending for yourself in the real world. Whilst college life, isn’t exactly the real world, in monetary terms, it is. You have probably got a student loan to pay your fees, you probably need to get a part time job to pay for dorms and you probably have to buy your own food and clothes. It is shocking and hard. You are starting life in debt and you have no idea what to spend or what to spend it on.
You have a student loan, it is to pay your fees and to buy any books or equipment you might need. Some of may even stretch towards your rent. This money is not for buying shoes or clothing or even for partying with your friends. This is non-negotiable. If you want to spend money on trivial things then get a job and you will have disposable income.
Thrift Shops Are Your Friend
Buying items in thrift shops is nothing to be ashamed of. The items are usually in ver good condition and you will pay a fraction of the price for clothing. If some items are damaged, you will get more money off and you can just learn to fix them yourself. Just google what you need to do and follow the instructions. You can get cheap furniture here as well, if you are unhappy with the furniture in student housing.
The main point that you need to know about grocery shopping is that if you buy branded food, you will pay almost double the price you would pay if you bought the stores own food. Therefore it is cheaper to buy store branded food than the famous brands food. Also, look for vouchers in magazine or get coupons. If your local grocery store has a points scheme then join it because you end up saving money with points or even earning enough for free items.
Learning to stick to a budget as a Student will set you up for life. You will learn skills that you will use for the rest of your life, and when you will look a your friends who are drowning in debt, you will be glad that you were so strict with yourself. Don’t get in debt to buy things you can do without, it always feels better to save up your pennies and buy that item when you actually have the money and aren’t relying on credit.