I found out last week where I am going for my year abroad next year...I am going to Yokohama National University yayyy!! Its my first choice so I am very pleased. Also I am hoping to save loads more money this year so I can buy lots and lots of lolita clothing on the cheap next year. I shall have a Japanese bank account (hopefully) and will therefore be able to take advantage of auction sites.
1. One that didn't quite manage... Go for a cheaper house if you can and be careful of who you choose to live with. In first year you will more than likely be in university accommodation of which there will be a variety of prices but 9/10 is very affordable. I ended up in private halls which are not so affordable because of clearing. Either way, the good thing about halls is that bills are inclusive so you need not worry about that. However this year I decided to go for nicer house bills not inclusive. It is STILL cheaper than last years halls but I could have still saved more money. Also my house mates are not very economical so the bills are not as cheap as they could be. Don't get a house with a tumble dryer and if you can try to find a house which is bills inclusive. A. Tumble dryers are bloody expensive and B. If you know how much your bills are going to be its easier to budget and you can relax a little about your house mates constantly wasting energy. All else fails, try to find more like minded people to live with.
2. January sales clothes shopping to revive that tired wardrobe. The sales this year were particularly good. I managed to get a whole outfit inc shoes, dress and a belt for £11. Also if you happen to be in America on Boxing day go nuts on those sales too, exchange rate makes it so good. Along with $10 t-shirts in Hot Topic. Remember to set yourself a budget! Which leads onto...
3. Budgeting 101. Right, heres what I do and it works very well. The key is to over budget for everything and then you have a nice bit to save at the end (hopefully). If not then you aren't in financial trouble. I do it term by term when student loan comes in.
Rule 1. When student loan comes in, don't go cray cray and spend it all just because you suddenly have £2000 in your account. I know so many people that do this and at the end of the term are well into their overdraft. I have never been in my overdraft in my whole life! As mentioned before, if you do want to take advantage of xmas sales set yourself a limited budget.
Rule 2. Count how many weeks and months it will be until you next get your loan. What I then do is go and pay those x months rent in advance. I don't have a high interest account so its not worth keeping in there and then I know exactly where I stand with my bank balance.
Rule 3. Then way over budget for bills. Like £75 - £100 a month if you can.
Right, heres an example of how I would budget for 3 months (with example numbers)
1.Start with how much you have. In this example I shall use £2500.
2. Take away your cash floater (mentioned in Part 1). Increase it if possible. In this example I shall have £500 cash floater. This is money you shall not touch unless its a necessary emergency!
3. Now on £2000. Your rent is £260pcm and its 3 months until your next loan. That £780. Take that away and go pay it asap!!
4. Now on £1220. 3 Months bills over estimated at £100 each = £300. Take that away.
5. £920 left to spend. Divide that by how many weeks there are left till next loan. e.g. 12 weeks. Thats £76.67 you can spend per week. Now I personally budget myself £40 per week and find thats plenty. so I would then maybe work out how much more I could potentially save by the end of the term. I would not recommend spending all that £70 every week. e.g. you may have a comic con or something else big that you may want to do. Under spending will mean you will have the money to do the stuff you want to.
Hope this was helpful. Here is part 1 that I wrote in 1st year!