For many students, it can be quite challenging to maintain and stick to a budget plan. Budgeting allows you to forecast how much money you are planning to spend. One of the advantages of planning your budget is that it determines whether or not you will have enough money to fulfill your needs and wants. Budgeting is important financial stability which ensures that you are able to pay off things like your tuition fees, accommodation, textbooks, or student loans. Following your budget plan ensures that you do not land up in debt.
Tips to consider when drawing up your budget plan
#Identify your financial goal:
It’s important to set both short-term and long-term goals. Goals should always be written smartly (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound). Having these goals in mind provides you with a head start in planning your budget and having something to work towards.
Planning requires thinking ahead. Try to plan what you will be doing and when, so you can plan ahead and budget accordingly. Having a set weekly budget/allowance gives you a maximum spending limit for your regular outings, such as eating dinner at a restaurant or a shopping spree.
#Identify your needs and wants:
Try and spend your money on things that are a necessity. We all know how easy it is to fall into the trap of spending money unnecessarily on things that you do not need. If you can, cut-out on the non-essential purchases, focus on the necessities and shop smartly.
If you are by the means of saving, transfer some of your income or student allowance into a savings account. Every month you can start with as little as an R100 and slowly grow your savings. Saving money is important as it helps to protect you in the event of a financial emergency.
What are the advantages of saving money as a student?
- Helps you in case of a financial emergency
- Become financially independent
- Saving money for the future gets you into the early habit of saving
- Building trust and confidence in your abilities
- Lessen your financial stress
Now that you have created a budget plan for yourself, it's important to stick to it. It is important that you hold yourself accountable by tracking your expenses and ensuring that you stay within the limit of your budget plan.