Money Matters

Student budgeting & mobile apps to help you stay on track

By Oct 19, 2017 No Comments

So, you’ve moved on and into university and while this is an extremely exciting and liberating period of your life – it is also where the ‘real world’ begins and ‘adulting’ becomes an everyday reality! It may sound tedious and dull, but drawing up a monthly budget should be one of the first things you do before each university semester begins:

Set up your budget in three stages:

  1. Look at the amount of money you have coming into your bank account (student loans, allowance from your parents, earnings from part-time work)
  2. Work out how much money you have going out (bills etc.) of your bank account
  3. Then, subtract your outgoing amount by your incoming amount, and divide that by the number of weeks in each semester – ultimately giving you an idea of how much money you have left over to live off of each week.

When drawing up your budget there are daily realities you need to consider when it comes to the amount of money coming into your account and going out, some of these may include:

Monthly income:

  • A student loan (generally split up into separate payments for each semester)
  • Social grants, bursaries or scholarships
  • A cash ‘allowance’ from your parents
  • A savings ‘allowance’ from your parents
  • Part-time work earnings
  • An account overdraft facility (for emergency back-up!)

Monthly expenses:

Monthly expenses can vary from student-to-student depending on what year you are in, whether you live within close proximity to your university campus, whether you have a car or need to catch public transport. Here are some of the most common monthly expenses to expect:

  • University / tuition fees
  • Student residence / accommodation fees
  • Course / class supplies: books, stationary etc.
  • Water and electricity payments if renting accommodation
  • Internet
  • Mobile phone
  • TV license
  • Groceries and food shopping
  • Public transport costs
  • Petrol and car license costs
  • Drinking and eating out
  • Clothes and personal toiletries shopping
  • Gym / fitness / personal hobbies
  • Extras such as: Christmas spending, special occasions, birthdays and large purchases such as a laptop

As you can see, your outgoing versus your incoming finance is almost double the amount – hence the reason you need to prioritise, set your budget and do your best to stick to it!

One of the best ways to track your spending and ultimately, stick to a budget, is to do so with some of South Africa’s best rated mobile apps, which include:

Pricing and Specials
  • PriceCheck: one of South Africa’s leading price comparison apps
  • The Entertainer: ideal for socialising, tracking plenty of buy-one-get-one-free specials
  • FuelLog: Track and log your mileage, fuel consumption, maintenances, services and costs of your car

While there is plenty to think about and prioritise when it comes to being a university student – one of the most important, and at times, stressful, aspects is learning to budget. Sorting out a realistic budget that you can stick to each month is vital – not only for managing future debt and investing in your future, but also to ensure you enjoy your student life and freedom as much as possible!

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