Following on from last week’s post about how fast time is flying by, I should also point out that money is slowly leaking from my account (and by slowly leaking meaning I’m about to call a plumber before the whole neighbourhood loses water pressure). Therefore I am setting myself budgeting challenges, thus hoping to reduce money leakage and also learn a few more tips on being thrifty. The budgeting has been rather hard for me. It all started so well; scrimping and saving during my previous job, choosing lower priced food and drinks, avoiding fast food, washing my car by hand instead of the car wash (ok...the last one may not be true, but you get the idea...). Moving away from home is always going to incur some expense. Not only do you need to pay for the place you are living and the travelling costs of moving there, but also for all the items that you’ll need in order to survive. Searching high and low through the local supermarket for the best deals, trying to work out if you’ll actually need three or four saucepans, whether a pizza cutter is something you could live without and wondering if 4 sets of knives and forks will be enough to last the year (sadly, 4 sets haven’t even lasted me a term...and it’s just me using them!). On top of setting yourself up, there is the cost of the bills that are already helping themselves to your funds. Mobile phone, road tax, insurance, membership fees, online subscriptions...the list goes on. This is one area of the student budget that is probably the hardest thing to control. Deciding what to keep paying for, which ones that you are able to reduce or cut out all together – it’s a tough call that only you can make! There are of course, the expenses of the course. These vary between courses and institutions. My course may not be the cheapest, but for me I know it’s the one that I really don’t mind investing in. For me, the goal at the end is worth every penny spent. Now I know that this post seems scary – “money” is probably the scariest word known to students after “lecture” and “deadline”, but a good budget plan and knowing where to make the right sacrifices, it is very manageable being a student. You can still go out and have an amazing time, enjoy sports activities and make the most of the city you choose to study in. In conclusion, money obviously is a major factor in the decision to be a student. However, it shouldn’t be the only one. On top of studying for a top profession, you gain so much more than a degree. You gain life experience, communication skills, professional working habits and of course, the best 3-4 years of your life. Those last few things, money can’t buy!