1) Budget budget budget!
Budgeting is one of the most crucial things anyone can do to keep their finances in check. The idea of budgeting is to prevent overspending. The first step to creating a successful budget plan is working out your incomings and outgoings. Open up a spreadsheet or grab a pen and paper (if you prefer the old school approach) and start listing what money is coming in and when. When does your student loan get paid and on what date? Do any family members help you with your studies, if so, when will you receive this? Then note down what money is going out of your account and when. This will give you a figure for exactly what you can spend per month.
Monzo, Revolut and Starling are all prime examples of banking apps that allow you to track your spending and help you stick to your budget. Using these apps alongside ZIPZERO gives you a comprehensive understanding of all your purchases. ZIPZERO stores all of your receipts after they have been scanned, allowing you to check individual items you have bought. This can also be very handy if you tend to buy items using cash.
2) Spend wisely on your food shopping
Grocery shopping is a huge expense for the average person. Recent figures show that the average weekly food cost for the typical UK household is £91! If you live with fellow students, try coordinating meals and cooking large dishes to feed everyone. This way, you will split the cost of ingredients and you also won’t have to waste unfinished items unnecessarily. Once you have completed your grocery shopping, be sure to use the ZIPZERO app to scan your receipts. The extra cash you can squeeze out of those receipts will leave you feeling pleasantly surprised! There are several amazing brands promoting cheap and healthy meals for students but ‘Mob Kitchen’ is the standout. Their series ‘Feed 4 for a tenner’ is a winner!
3) ‘Do I need this or do I want this?’
Being able to determine the differences between ‘needing’ something or ‘wanting’ something can help save hundreds of pounds per month. Something that you ‘need’ is an item that is necessary to be able to live or achieve. Whereas to ‘want’ is to desire things that you want that might not have any value. Before every purchase, you should ask yourself this question! This will help you learn what you can and can’t live without.
For many students, university is the first time living away from home so when receiving a large sum of money upfront, it can be tempting to blow it all on things you’ve always wanted yet don’t actually need. It’s also worth noting that the materialistic nature of society at current, can cloud your judgement. Instead of instantly buying the latest product your favourite influencers are trying to sell, stop and think: ‘do I need this or do I want this to try to fit in with everyone else?’
4) Don’t be too hard on yourself if you spend too much
It is important not to beat yourself up about overspending! The most important thing is bouncing back from adverse situations like this. Learning from our mistakes is the key to personal growth. Accidentally spent too much at the pub and then got takeaway? Ok, think about how to solve this next month. In your budget for the upcoming month, cut down slightly on another expense and set aside the amount you save for moments like this. If you do overspend make sure to collect your receipts! ZIPZERO can help you get 0.5% of all these transactions directly into your ZIPZERO wallet for use on your monthly bills.