Full-time students famously don’t have much money. After all, they don’t have time during the day to work and earn a stable wage since they’re so busy studying. Students typically have very tight budgets, It is therefore important university students housing expenses are budget for.
When it comes to housing, the cost of rent isn’t the only thing students should be aware of.
Here are a handful of other things students should consider when budgeting for housing expenses every month.
There’s nothing more stressful than reaching the last week of the month and realising you have no money for food. When this happens, it becomes pretty common for cash-strapped students to resort to living on cheap foods like bread and instant noodles. While these are cost-effective meals, they’re not very healthy and can lead to poor mental performance owing to bad nutrition.
It is important to set a budget for food every month and to – wherever possible – buy all the food you need at the start of the month. This means planning your meals out. Importantly, make sure that you remember to plan for three meals a day – not just supper – and to try and incorporate a nutritious range of different food groups so that you get the most out of your meals to support your brain while studying.
The need for clean clothes is often forgotten when planning one’s budget. Many student rental apartments have laundry facilities. In some cases, these are included in the cost of the rent but, in others, you might need to pay per use. Whatever the case, you still need to consider the cost of detergent and softeners which can add up quickly if you do a lot of laundry.
Toiletries can be expensive and so it is wise for students on a tight budget to find cheaper ways of remaining well-washed and groomed. Products such as hair gel can be extremely pricey if you buy high-end brand names. However, using generic brands can save you a lot of cash.
Some of the toiletries that students should be sure to budget for every month include hair products, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, shaving equipment, deodorant and more.
Electricity is becoming more and more expensive and water is scarce in South Africa. It’s important to ensure that these bills are paid up every month so that you don’t end up having to study by candlelight. Most apartment buildings will ensure that tenants are issued a water and lights bill at the end of every month to pay. In some cases, prepaid electricity is installed in the apartments, which makes it easier to budget on the go as you use it.
In some buildings, you might also need to pay an additional fee for Wi-Fi access. Be aware of these costs so that you know how much to budget every month towards paying the bills timeously and consistently.
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