Here comes to my very last entry of the “Surviving series” on “clothing”. Since there’s not much things to talk about clothing, let me talk about budgeting!
As oversea students, it is very important to manage our own money. There is never “too much” money to spend- so while it all depends on your budgets and habits, I’ll share some of my own experiences on spending money in a smart way.
First, you’ll need to apply for a bank account in the UK when you arrive. Before heading to the bank, very likely you’ll need to make an appointment beforehand and you’ll need a letter from the student service centre and show to the bank as proof. There’s a bank on campus, “Santander” which is very handy for Surrey’s student. However, there are also some ATMs on campus for free cash withdrawal. I chose Natwest as they do not charge any monthly fee and it is quite easy to use (both online banking and mobile app).
As I have both saving and current account, I will place everything in the saving account, and then transfer it to my current account only when I need it. For example, my budget for living fee (excluding accommodation) is £400(suggested spendings from Surrey) per month so I will only transfer £400 to the current account on a specific date (e.g. 1st). By doing so, you are more aware of your monthly spending by checking the balance by the end of the month. Of course, this can be flexible; e.g. transferring £100 every week or transfer less money than your budget to save money for something else (You don’t have to spend everything from your budget, do you?).
Besides, there are lots of ways to save money.
1) Writing buy list
especially when you are shopping in Tesco, it is extremely tempting to buy something (that you don’t need) when you see it’s on sale. Same rule apply when you are going to shopping. For example, you want to buy a pair of shoes and a wallet, write it down and when you got chances to go to town or other cities, buy what you need. This can also avoid the chance of missing something and waste the effort to go and buy again.
2) Kid’s size
Believe it or not, if you are a girl with typical size feet (mine are 38-39 in HK), you can fit in kid’s shoes! It is because there is no VAT for children shoes and if the style wasn’t too childish and you can fit in it (I can fit in UK size 5), why not?
3) Comparing prices
Website such as skyscanner, http://travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/ helps you to get the best deal for flights and best rate while exchanging currency. Why don’t you also compare prices for other things when it is so easy to check it online (e.g. amazon, ebay VS argos or other shops)? Of course, be aware of the website and see if it’s trustworthy before giving out card details, don’t risk!
Recap of surviving series:
Food (2) at: http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/hongkong-blog/?p=28
Housing at: http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/hongkong-blog/?p=82
Transportation at: http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/hongkong-blog/?p=91