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How to manage your finances

It's not about the money, money, money
We don't need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance
Forget about the price tag

Yeah, no Jessie J! It is about the money. Seriously guys don’t fall for this, otherwise, you’ll have a heart attack seeing your bank statements by the end of the month. Trust me, I have been through this, and let me tell you, not again. Managing your finances may seem like an arduous task when you’re in a new place and all the malls, restaurants, bars, and parties seem so attractive that you can’t help but spend. A few taps with your credit card and boom! The Great recession of 2008 featuring your life begins. I think I’ve made enough jokes, let’s get to the point now.

The first month does not count because adapting to the new environment, buying all the necessities, registering for different things, etc. accounts for a significant amount of spending which is inevitable. However, I would recommend starting monitoring your finances as soon as you settle in. Excel sheets are possibly the best way to note down each random purchase you make so you have a rough idea of where your money is going. As soon as the month ends, go back to these sheets, and highlight all the unnecessary spending so that you know where to control yourself. This may seem like too much to do but it honestly takes 30 minutes’ worth of your time, and you could end up saving a few bucks.

Club cards, discount vouchers, student passes always come in handy. I would suggest signing up for each of these as they will benefit you in the longer term. But most importantly, get the bus pass as soon as you come here. I can easily say it has been one of the best decisions I made. The weather is unpredictable, you can’t walk all the time, and if you live far away or your spirit animal is a sloth then you need one. These little things have made quite a significant impact in managing my finances and I can save a lot.

For me, my major spending in the first few months went towards food and clothes, I used to eat out a lot. So, for those who don’t know how to cook, I think it’s time to grab a pan, and just put Gordan Ramsays’ voice on in the background, maybe that’ll help you get going. Once you start eating at home, you will notice a significant drop in your spending. Lastly, if you are still struggling then find a part-time job. It is pretty easy to find one and if you can manage to balance your work and academic life well, then it’s always good to earn extra cash. Now it may seem difficult at first to hold yourself from spending, managing your finances, keeping track but you’ll eventually learn, and you can always come back to this blog to get a fresh reminder. You have your life ahead of you to have fun so I’d suggest taking it slow, acting responsibly, and good luck!

A sunset in Manchester