Let’s talk about budgets this week! As a student and as most of us have come to know, having a budget during the duration of your studies is invaluable not just for your wallet, but for future financial preparations also. So how and what should we keep in mind when trying to keep costs down while studying?
Well…some tricks up my own sleeve and questions to ask yourself include:
- Groceries: look out for weekly deals and discounts- these can make a huge difference in their dents in your monthly/weekly budget.
- Food in general: Do you really need that bag of chips? Are you watching your portions? How often are you eating out and is it really worth it?
- A great tip I would give is to plan your meals not according to what dish you want to make that week, but what produce and fruits are on sale that week- test out your creativity!
- Buy less of ‘fast-food’ (including microwave dinners) and spend that extra money on cheaper homemade meals instead.
- Drink more water (it’s clean AND free)! You’ll save a lot by not having to purchase so much Coke or other carbonated beverages all the time.
- If you do drink beverages, don’t forget to recycle them to get credit back towards your next grocery purchase! Helping out the environment is always a plus, wouldn’t you say?
- Bills: Look for student phone plans (I recommend Comviq) as well as internet providers
- Banking: most banks have lower-fee accounts specifically designed for students (check out ICA Banken)
- Transportation: Don’t forget to get the student-priced fares on metro transportation (also known as Access cards)
- Books: try to find your textbooks either at the library or through online PDF versions before you go out and buy them full-price. If you can’t find them at the library, then purchasing online with a discount code is usually your next best option
- School supplies: most can be found free at school many times, especially during student fairs and networking events (think free pencils, pens, notebooks, rulers, etc.) If not, try discount stores like Rusta or Öob first before stores like Office Depot since they usually run pricier.
- Toiletries- because the selection here in Swedish shops may be quite limited at times, it is often best to bring your favorite shampoo and conditioner from your own country (which is often cheaper anyways)
- Cancel your cable! This one may be odd, but it’s not worth it. With Netflix or free streaming options available now online, it really isn’t worth it. You need to study anyways.
Most importantly, just watch what you spend before you spend. Be less impulsive and think for the future. As a student, a little less waste can go a long way.
Until next time,