CIT Students' Union
Budgeting Tips and Managing Money
Money is a big concern for most students these days, developing budgeting skills is a very well worthwhile task. A budget is an easy way to see how much you have available to spend and on what and how to divide up your spending. Budgeting is simply a matter of discovering where your money is going each month and how much you should have left over at the end. All you have to do is add up all your income and subtract your bills and other outgoings. If you have more money going out than coming in, then you will find yourself in debt and that’s never good.
Your budget will help to guide you as to whether you need to spend less, or if you need to spend differently, here are a few money saving tips:
- Keep a diary of what you spend and you’ll quickly see what is essential and what you can do without. Visit www.mabs.ie to download free budget planners
- Use online banking to keep an eye on your finances.
- Shop around for bargains; you never know where you’ll find a better price.
- Use your student card for discounts in the cinema, shops, restaurants, and for bus and train fares.
Turn off the lights when you leave the room, and try to save energy around the house, wasting electricity or heating will cost you.
Share a taxi home after a night out.
Do a weekly shop and buy supermarket own brands. They are often the same quality at much cheaper price.
- WARNING - Stocking up in the local corner shop everyday can be a third more expensive for the same products!
- Check to make sure you are receiving all of the financial help you are due i.e. maintenance grant.
- Some banks offer interest free overdrafts but you will need a parent to sign as guarantor.
- Look out for special offers- e.g. 2 for 1 midweek cinema deals.
- Don’t use credit cards when you are low on money. Always read the small print and don’t put your name down for anything especially not for lollipops. Only use credit cards for real necessities. Remember that credit cards aren’t free money.
- If you decide to sign up for broadband/chorus/ sky for a year contract, keep in mind you will only be renting for nine months and will still have to pay during the summer even if you’re not availing of the service anymore. Be really careful what you sign up for, as it’s extremely hard to get out of a contract once you put your name to it.
- Cycling or walking to college is not only cost free but better for the environment. Students always find it hard to find parking, therefore to avoid the hassle of queuing every morning, leave the car at home or arrange car-pooling with your friends/classmates who are travelling from the same area. If you park somewhere where you are not supposed to you will be clamped and left with a big fine. Save yourself the money and headaches by finding alternative transportation. If you are worried about finances there are services available to support you.