Living on a budget? Here are 5 ways you can still indulge

27 Mar 2019
By Emily Z., Student at University of Edinburgh

As a student, it can be hard to manage money for the first time. You may find yourself with little to spend in the last couple of weeks of term if you aren’t careful about your budget.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t indulge regularly.

So here are 5 tips to help you indulge as a student living on a budget.

1) Have a set amount of expenditure

Firstly, you must give yourself a weekly or monthly expenditure limit, so you can find out how much you have spent within that time, and how much you can save up or rollover into the next week/month.

By knowing exactly how much you can spend each week/month, you can have more control over how you spend that money so that you don’t overspend. If it makes things easier, an excel spreadsheet is very useful in keeping record of expenditure, or if you prefer – like I do – you could also do the same thing by hand.

2) Eat in rather than eat out

I think we can all agree that eating out or getting a takeaway is much more convenient, especially when you have an assignment due. However, it can be very expensive in the long run, so why not indulge in good food by cooking yourself.

Now don’t worry if you don’t have much experience – I was in the exact same position. Practice makes perfect! You can always start with an easy recipe or team up with other flatmates to learn together. With enough practice, you can indulge every meal in the comfort of your own home with half the price of eating out.

Related: 10 Tasty and filling 30-minute meals to master this term

3) Exercising without the cost

There are many ways to stay healthy by exercising, without the extra cost. Of course, as a student, gym memberships are usually discounted, but sometimes it’s hard to find time to go to the gym with lectures to go to and society events to attend. So, if you are afraid that you won’t be able to go enough times to justify the price, there are plenty of alternatives – free of charge!

Consider going for a run in your city – you can take in and discover city views as well as having the flexibility to exercise at your own convenience. Bad weather? Just stay in and do some indoor circuit training exercises such as squats, press ups, sit ups etc.

4) Take advantage of your student card

As mentioned above, as a student, we can get many things at discounted prices; so, make use of this opportunity whilst you’re still a student. You can still indulge in your favourite brands at a discounted price with the use of your student card. You can also make use of other student-based platforms including UNiDAYS.

5) Save up for bigger indulgences

After following the above tips, you should be able to save a little each week/month. If you can’t afford to indulge in more expensive items or activities, I would suggest saving up a little each week, so you can reward yourself with something you’ve been wanting at the end of the term, or a month if you prefer a small reward on a more regular basis.

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Emily is studying Architecture at the College of Art in the University of Edinburgh. As someone who enjoys the arts, she spends her free time handcrafting not only as a hobby but to expand her knowledge on multiple art skills e.g. textiles, printmaking techniques and photography. Furthermore, she enjoys mountain and hill walking as a form of exercise.