A savvy student has shared how she saves £1,800 a year – including paying herself ‘pay packets’ to stop overspending.
Emma Cutler gets three £3,000 student loan payments a year and separates the money into pay packets when it drops into her bank account.
She uses these online saving pots and cash to stop herself from overspending.
After working out how much she can spend a month, Emma splits up her money, allowing her to carry it over to the next month if she doesn’t spend it.
As the cost of living crisis continues, many Britons will be looking for ways to cut costs and save some extra cash.
Emma batch cooks all her meals and completes online surveys to top up her income.
She said: “I’m probably saving a good £150 a month. My rent and bills are £550pcm and then I put aside £120 for food shopping, £30-50 for going out, £30 in my miscellaneous spending money pot and £50-£80 in self-care.
“It stops unnecessary spending and it makes you think twice before you buy something. I’ve definitely gotten better at it over the span of three years.
“In first year it was more about making sure I could afford rent but now I’m thinking about the future and longer-term plans.”
Emma sets out her plan each month to include:
- Rent – £400 a month
- Bills – £150 (inc subscriptions)
- Food shop – £120 a month
- Going out – £30-50 a month
- spending (misc) – £30
- Self-care £50-£80
Creating a budget like this can ensure people are not overspending and they can cover necessary expenses with their income.
She continued: “I’ve developed my own way of budgeting and knowing how to save for things coming. I always look at what in my income is going to be for the month from the loan and my work as well.
“It can be difficult as you get it in three instalments so I work out what the average will be for each month. University throws you in at the deep end and you have to start paying for things. At that age, a student loan is a big sum of money for the first time.”
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Emma explained when doing her budget she prioritises bills and rent and then breaks it down into the four categories. After planning for that, she can put her money towards longer-term things like luxury items and holidays.
Budgeting “takes away the pressure and guilt of spending a lot of money” as she knows she has saved foe things – it’s more controlled spending.
She added: “I used to use cash more often but now I use Monzo and put everything into pots and it rolls over to the next month so you can make up for quieter months.”
Emma does content creation for her university social pages as well as yearly surveys and selling on vinted.
She said: “I do the content creation every few weeks when the uni have a project on – they pay me around £10.40 an hour.
“I haven’t thought about investing but I’ve got a help to buy ISA and have one main savings pot aside from the little ones and that’s for a house deposit or something to fall back on if I’m renting.”
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