As I'm heading back to uni in 6 days, it's really time to get a hang of my finances! For the past two years I've pretty much just spent what I wanted and crossed my fingers that I would still be able to buy food the next day! However, when I graduate I want to move in with my boyfriend so it's time to get serious and learn to budget whilst I have the relative luxury of 'free' money.
In order to be a bit more sensible, I need a decent way of tracking my money, and creating a budget. I also need to know the difference between needing something and just wanting it, and resisting the urge to splash out on something pretty but not needed! It can be really expensive in my uni town as there's only one supermarket near the accommodation (so prices are high) and there's not a massive amount of variety so you can't always shop around for the best deal. It often requires some crafty shopping! So the first thing I need to do is figure out what staples I buy each week, and where is cheapest to buy them. I can do half of this before I even leave for university in Powerpoint. I'd like to make my own filofax insert for it eventually so I can keep it with me, but that is a task for a rainy Welsh night!
Secondly, I need to figure out how much a month I have to spend and what I can spend it on. I'd like to try and save a little bit of my loan this year so that when I do graduate, I have a tiny little cushion (I don't anticipate it will be much!) to fall back on when I move home again. I don't think I'll be able to find a job at uni other than the one I currently have - which is only for the first semester and only pays £9 a week. Not much, but it's money in my pocket! I'm also hoping to open an Etsy shop and sell a few Filo inserts on there - watch this space - for some extra cash. There is of course, all the little websites I use (see this post about them on my other blog) occasionally but they take quite a lot of time and effort.
Thirdly, I need to stick to only buying what I've decided to buy, and not being taken in by pretty things on websites or sales or the bargain section (unless it's a really good deal :D)!
I'd really like to try some no spend challenges, such as 'have 10 no spend days in one month' or even the seriously hard, 'go spend free for a week'. I may track these on here! I'll let you know how it goes.