Feeling stressed? Reduce your financial stress thanks to these money saving tips from Vouchercloud. A guest post from Greg Le Tocq – Managing Director of vouchercloud.com
As a student, there aren’t many things that are more stressful than keeping tabs on your finances.
The healthcare specialists over at Bupa found that 44% of us suffer from long term stress, and we want to help reduce that figure, especially when it comes to managing your money. It’s also good to remember that stress doesn’t only just affect adults; Ruth Caleb, chair of Universities UK’s mental well-being working group, estimates that at least 115,000 students are seeking help for stress. Student debt stress is real!
A common root cause for stress is financial instability; being made redundant, student debt and separation from a partner can all lead to financial stress. So, we’ve put together some tips that can help prevent money related stress:
1. Set up a precise budget for each area of your life
Problem: “I’m not sure where my money goes every month, it’s like it disappears into thin air!”
I think we’ve all been there, right? By not clearly setting out the amount of money you spend in each area of your life per month, in a way that is easy for you to digest and understand, you’ll be unable to see where you’re spending more money than necessary or where you can cut costs. For example, you might be budgeting for your weekly shop but if you also spend a few pounds every day on lunch-to-go, you’ll be overspending without realising.
Resolution: Use budgeting apps, such as OnTrees, to track exactly where you are spending and where you could save.
2. Stay accountable
Problem: “A few pounds here and there won’t damage my finances!”
It’s something we are all guilty of; popping to the shops to buy a small chocolate bar, thinking that a couple of pounds won’t hurt. But, unsurprisingly, this can all add up. To put it into perspective, if you spend an average of £2.50 5 times a week on a takeaway coffee before work, this could rack up to a grand total of £50 a month…on something you could have made at home!
Resolution: Keep all of your receipts to keep tabs on how much money you’ve spent and where, so you can work out where you need to make changes.
3. Hunt down deals and discounts
Problem: “There are necessary purchases I need to make, but everything is so expensive!”
Before making a purchase, it’s always worth doing a quick online search in case there’s a discount available which could help you save money. There are a huge range of online discounts and deals for students in particular, which can support them in a cycle of feeling stressed about being low on finances, which leads to not wanting to socialise with friends in order to save money, which can result in feeling even more stressed.
Resolution: Here at vouchercloud, we’ve created this Student Discount Guide which leads students to the latest and hottest deals and discounts available.
4. Learn to prioritise
Problem: “By the time rent comes around, I don’t have any of my paycheck left!”
Whilst a takeaway or a brand new handbag can seem like an imperative purchase in the moment, ultimately, paying rent on time is one of the most important parts of your monthly budget. By learning to prioritise your spending, you will not only ensure you have a roof over your head every month, you might also have money left over at the end of the month that you can put into savings.
Resolution: Save enough budget to treat yourself once a month, so you can ensure you have something to look forward to in a stressful time.
5. Pay with cash instead of debit card
Problem: “I’ll just stick this purchase on my card!”
Unfortunately, debit cards aren’t made of magical money – even though it might be ‘invisible’, it will be very real when you have a look at your dreaded bank statement. It’s very easy to fall in the trap of overspending when you aren’t able to physically see how much money you’re spending,
Resolution: Take cash out to buy the ‘bits and bobs’ that you need to buy throughout the week.
Take control of your financial stress today and you’ll soon find that a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Visit the NHS website for more advice on financial stress and how to cope with it. For budgeting tips, money saving advice and discount codes to help you reduce your financial stress, visit vouchercloud.com