How to live on a budget

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As a young person, managing your money can be daunting, especially when you have bills to pay, a home to save for (or contribute towards) and food to buy. Here are some general tips on how to successfully live on a budget:

Prioritise your spending

Toiletries and food = yes. Holidays, TVs and unnecessary clothes = no. When you’re trying to budget your money, it’s important that you remember to prioritise the things that you’re buying so you have enough money set aside for the items that you really need. This will save you borrowing money which would put you in more debt later on.

Put together a budget

It’s important that if you want to keep a close eye on your spending, that you make a budget plan – this can be done monthly or yearly– mapping out how much money you have coming in at the beginning of the month, what bills you have to pay, and then how much money you have to live on for each week.

By having this planned out, you’ll get a better idea of what comes in and out of your wages – making it easier for you to plan what you might do differently the following month. You can map this out using Microsoft spreadsheet or a simple budgeting tool.

Avoid pay-day loans or finance

Definitely something to steer away from, although a loan offer may look good – especially when you’re low on cash at the end of month – finance companies can charge extortionate repayment rates and you could end up getting into serious debt.

Exercise for free

Everyone wants to be healthy and there seems to be more pressure every year on being fit and healthy, doing exercise and eating the right things. However, gym memberships are expensive, so if you’re trying to get fit your best bet is going for long walks, running or trying a fitness routine in your house that you can get online, all for free!

Shop around to get a good deal

Food is a necessity. However, the brand of the food is not and some retailers offer cheap alternatives to the higher end supermarket ranges; ensuring you get what you need for the least amount of money. Shop around and you’ll be surprised how much further your money will go.

Take advantage of an NUS card

Parenta have teamed up with the National Union of Students to provide all our apprentices with an NUS extra discount card. For just £11 for the whole year, this card saves you money in local retailers, restaurants and many other places you probably use on a weekly basis. 

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