Managing your budget

31 March 2016

Finances and studies: is a balanced budget possible?

Do your parents give you pocket money? To make ends meet at the end of the month, make useful savings and control your income and expenses there are endless tricks and tips.

Pocket money: it is easier with it than without it

So where does your money come from? Among Belgian students, 56%* receive pocket money from their parents on a regular basis, which is on average 107 euros per month. 39% of you also go to your parents to get help in covering unexpected costs. What are your other sources of income? Student jobs that you do in the holidays (58%), throughout the academic year (33%), or on an occasional basis (39%).

Budget: are you ready to get to grips with accounting?

Balancing a budget is complicated, even for a minister. You have no choice: you must make a table and list everything. On one side you list what you are going to spend, and on the other what you have coming in. Your expenditure cannot exceed your income. It is easier said than done when you have extra cost such has a concert, a new pair of jeans or a birthday in the same month. Good planning is the key to avoiding any nasty surprises.

Expenditure: how to keep it to a minimum?

Do you want to balance your budget without having to eat tuna pasta for 10 whole months? Here is some advice to help you.

  • Find out if you are entitled a student grant.
  • Buy the syllabuses and books second hand.
  • Cook for yourself and share your meals with your room mates.
  • Start using a piggy bank for spare change.
  • Take advantage of happy hours.
  • Hunt down student discounts, especially those linked to your student card.
  • Buy presents in the sales.
  • Never do your food shopping on an empty stomach and without a list.

*Source: investigation carried out in 2013 by InSites Consulting on behalf of ING Belgium.