Last year I shared all about creating a student budget and I even showed you examples of my own. I’ve upgraded recently to using Mint for my personal budgeting. While budgeting software is useful, it’s not enough. There’s one thing that you need to stick to your student budget.
You need willpower.
It’s so easy to set a budget but sticking to it is one of the hardest things in the world. I know because there have been times that I’ve completely overspent.
Here’s why you need willpower to stick to your budget.
A Student Budget Isn’t Just a Guide
One of my biggest excuses was that my budget was just my guide. It was there to give me a rough idea of how and where to spend my money. I could always borrow from one area to allow more money in another.
It’s time to get out of this mindset. Borrowing from one area to spend in another is just holding you back. Get into this habit too often and you end up struggling to afford anything. You spend all your money on socialising and you’re stuck with no food on the table and no roof over your head.
This was the exact position you were in before setting your budget, right?
Your Software Doesn’t Spend Your Money
When you have your budget set up, you need to work to stick to it. The software isn’t the element that spends the money for you. You have to make the final purchasing decisions.
There are going to be items out there that you really want. You’ll want the latest phone or a new laptop for uni, but you don’t always have the money for it. It’s so tempting to put that money on a credit card though, isn’t it?
Well, it’s time to use your willpower to stick with the budget. You need to say no when you know you don’t have the money available for it.
You Don’t Want to Forget to Update
Set a schedule to make sure you update your budget regularly. This was where I really struggled as a student at first. In fact, I still struggled with it as an adult!
There are all sorts of reasons not to update your student budget. It’s on the laptop and you can’t be bothered getting it. You don’t have internet to sync your phone and your computer. There isn’t the time while you need to work on something else.
In the end, you forget what you spent and then you need to play catch up. Chances are by that point you don’t even have the budget available anymore. You overshot your spending.
Using software for a student budget is a good way to create a plan but it’s not the only step you need to take. Willpower is essential. There will be times that spending is tempting. You want to borrow from one area to pay for something in another area, and it’s up to you to say “no.” It’s up to you to stick to the budget you set, knowing that you set it for a good reason.
Have you stuck to your student budget? Share what holds you back and how you can change to make your budget far more effective.