Thursday, 12 May 2016

Sekinat: Saving your money!

Hello guys! It's Sekinat here; International Office Ambassador for Nigeria. Find out more about me from my online profile.

So school resumed two weeks ago for the last half of the term and it's been a whirlwind,literally! I am going to be talking about Money. Yes, that word we all love and dread at the same time. Haha! 

So how do you save your money?? Top on the list would definitely be having a rough estimate of the total amount you have for your upkeep for the year and then having a monthly budget. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Having a budget keeps you in check, trust me! The University of Sheffield being so well rounded, has a money planner for prospective students;great thinking I would say. You can check it out at this link.

Secondly, to my dear Nigerian people! I know much we love our food so please make sure you carry enough garri, groundnut, egusi, ogbono, beans, plantain chips and your other favorites that can be transported in dried form ofcourse. If you need to use up 35kg of your 46kg travel allowance, USE it; believe me you would not regret this move. Or maybe it's just me that loves food too much. LOL. Sincerely, having this items saved me a whole lot of money especially for the first three months of my stay in Sheffield coupled with the added bonus of having a home feel. Also, avoid eating out too often, a home-cooked meal is a great route to go even though it has its downsides of being time consuming. To wrap up the food discussion, I would also say grocery shopping weekly has helped me a lot. I tried shopping monthly but it did not quite work for me and I ended up exhausting my groceries before month end and found it difficult to keep tabs on my spending.

For travel expenses, book your travel tickets (coach or train) well in advance and you will dance at how much you are saving. I once saved £135 on a train ticket to London for booking three weeks earlier. My joy of avoiding long hours of coach travel time could not be quantified! For normal day to day travel to school; living near the university area would reduce your travel cost within Sheffield to almost NIL. If not, you can get weekly or monthly tickets at a discounted rate as a University of Sheffield student.

For shopping in general, make sure to register with Uni Days; it keep you updated on discounts available in various stores for students. .Also, look online for valid discount codes. Be strategic in your shopping, many stores do sales around the time when the season changes like late December/January sales, Easter sales amongst others. Another thing I do is I go shopping with a purpose, I check online first for what I might be interested in and pick it up from the store; this keeps me from randomly shopping and buying what I do not need.

Lastly, get a job if you can. Although, it might not be able to pay your rent or massive bills, but it can definitely serve as your spending allowance and save you the cost and headache of converting our dear Naira to pound. You also have the added advantage on building up your job experience and gaining skills. Win-win situation :) 

Oh I forgot to mention that Sheffield is blessed to have two big Pound land stores at the city centre. The trick to shopping at pound land is that it takes some previous shopping experience at various stores first before knowing which goods are worth buying from them. I find them most useful for my toiletries, stationary, simple decor items and sometimes snacks. 

Let the savings begin!!! 

By Sekinat Abbas 

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