Many students find themselves in tricky situations and creating a budget is not as easy as it looks. Being on your own, you start to question: How did my parents do it, and how are other students managing? Sooner or later you will realise that instant noodles and baked beans are not just a myth. You will end up eating these every day or you will find comfort food which suits your taste. On the bright side, ramen noodles come in many flavors and you have a big variety to choose from. It is inevitable, the shift from hotel mama to living alone and to paying your own bills is hard! Whether you are deciding between a night out or early to bed, the decision depends on your budget and what compromises you are ready to take.
I have been a student for three years and have by now found a way to manage my budget. Here are some tips which helped me get by:
I remember the first time I did my own groceries I ended up paying $150. My mistake was that we tend to overestimate the amount we are going to eat and that it can be exciting when you are surrounded with all the fruit and chips you want. It’s like being a kid in a candy store. My advice here is to have meal plans. I myself like to check BuzzFeed tasty for meal ideas or brothers green, who offer delicious dinner ideas for those of us on the low end of the budget. When you have that checklist it becomes easier, this way you only buy what you need. If you are like me and you are sometimes too lazy to cook, your freezer with delicious frozen pizza from Dr.Oetker or delicious dumplings from the oriental shop are the second best options.
If you shop at Albert Hejn, get yourself a bonus card, you can save up to $5 ;)
Student life is filled with opportunities to go out and things are often spontaneous, my advice here is to eat at home before you go out. Like that you only spend on drinks J. It is important to enjoy your student life to the fullest; remember being a student is a treat, real life with bills and taxes will catch up on you sooner than you think. Another thing I like to do which saved me so much money when going out is to take cash. Taking cash with you like 15 euros will mean that you can only spend that on the night.
Having a 30-euro budget is hard, as this only comes with great effort and loads of sacrifice and deleting the food delivery app was one of my biggest struggles. I still from time to time give myself a treat by ordering a delicious burger, after all, I think I deserve a nice treat once in a while.
Bring your lunch from home
Most of us have school during lunch time and the cafeteria options are not healthy and mainly consist of bread options. If you are like me and don’t like to have bread every lunch, bringing your own lunch can be quite the treat. You can enjoy a delicious home cooked meal with a sip of your bottled water from the tap. What a dream J. This option will save some extra dollars and provide you extra rest time during the 30-minute break.
We all have different tips and tricks on how to cut down our spending. I have asked a few of my friends on how they survive living on small budgets. Matthew, a Canadian student here at Wittenborg, says: “What I like to do is change my meals between a loaf of bread and loads of ramen.” This might not be a healthy alternative but it sure will make your monthly spending look like an exam grade. Yang Liu, another student at Wittenborg, mentioned: “I try different grocery stores, I like Aldi, it's cheap and has all I need.” It's true that most of us are not aware of all our shopping options, Google can be a good friend in this.
by Romeissa Laib
©Wittenborg University Press