Many first-years will have to take up the adult responsibility o f having to manage their own money for the first time. This can be difficult and stressful, but with a few nifty tips and tricks anyone can become a happy, thrifty UP student.
The first way to manage your money is to budget. You need to set a time frame for your budget which can be monthly or weekly. Then you need to categorise and list your expenses and income, which can include categories such as “savings” and “emergencies”. Using this, you should be able to create a budget that you can comfortably commit to. If this seems too complicated, there are various mobile apps available such as Moneyfy-Money Manager and Spendee that can help you with creating and managing your budget.
However, there are alternative ways to manage your money, such as splitting your income into two and spending only half during the first part of the month and the rest in the second ha lf of the month so as to avoid spending all your money at once.
University textbooks have the reputation of costing a small fortune. However, there are a few simple ways to cut costs. If you are considering buying a brand-new text book, compare prices at different book stores. Various book stores around campus also sell good quality second-hand books which cost a fraction of their original prices. In return, you can then rese ll your own textbooks and make some money back.
Most students will spend a large amount of their money on food. One of the most common money tips is to avoid takeaways and instead make your own food and snacks. Avoid buying water and coffee everyday by buying a refillable water bottle and a flask for your coffee. If you absolutely must get fast-food, look for specials at restaurants and takeaways to maximise your value for money.
Being a student also means that you should have fun, but money can be an issue. There are ways to have a good time on a budget. Only take a set amount of cash with you when you go out, that way you won’t be tempted to overspend. Lookout for drink specials – most places in Hatfield have daily specials. However, if you are looking for something a little quieter, a good bet is to take advantage of Ster Kinekor’s half price movie tickets every Tuesday, at any of its theatres for its card-holding members.
Living in a residence can mean that you have an extremely tight budget. Jane Akura, a third-year Civil Engineering student and 2015-2016 HK at Jasmyn, says that she has found it cheaper to buy both lunch and supper during lunchtimes when the dining hall is selling meals. Giving advice for the use of meal cards, Lerato Mokoena, a second-year Financial Science student and resident at Asterhof, suggests that first-years should not spend their full R100 daily allowance every day, but try to save and maybe even lower their limit if possible. For students with Eduloan cards, Anelisa Ngwane, a third-year Supply Chain Management student, suggests: “Do not spend your Eduloan allowance on things you can get at the dining hall, rather spend it on cosmetics and other daily essentials,” while making sure to not spend all your allowance at once.
Visual: Michal Linden