Budgeting 101 For 20-Something City Girls

Finances are something every 20-something girl has to deal with. We’re transitioning from education to career and suddenly face having to balance an income with rent, bills and maybe student debt, too, all whilst trying to socialise and treat ourselves every once in a while. Here are a few of my tips and tricks on how to navigate the world of money.

Know your expenses.

Make a spreadsheet which lists all of your fixed expenses of the month: Rent, bills, subscriptions etc. That way you know exactly on which day of the month you need to pay which amount of money, and how much you need in total.

Estimate other expenses.

At the end of each month, sit down and estimate your other expenses for the upcoming month. That includes groceries, birthdays, other events you have planned, purchases you would like to include etc. This gives you a rough idea of what’s coming up over time.

Calculate 20% on top.

When you budget for something, whether that’s big or small, calculate 15 to 20% on top. If you don’t need it, great, you saved money. But there is always the chance of extra costs creeping up from somewhere – a broken washing machine, an unexpected bill – and you’ll be prepared.

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Meal planning.

I know it sounds boring, but it saves so much money in the long-run. You could, for example, cook a basic meal on a Sunday and keep different toppings and add-ons in the fridge (at work) to change it up every day. If the ‘leftovers for lunch the next day’-approach is more your thing, why not try to combine them with something different?

Budget-friendly places.

Treating yourself doesn’t mean you have to splurge every time. Shopping in charity shops, using days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or simply trying out a DIY-face-mask at home can make you feel a million bucks without actually having to spend them.

And if you happen to live in Manchester or Scotland, then itison have amazing deals on, from activities to food & drinks events and shopping deals.

The little savings.

Point-schemes, Happy Hour in bars, 2-for-1 deals – they’re all super useful when you want to save a few pennies a month. Most point-schemes (such as Boots, Superdrug, Debenhams and even food chains such as Nando’s) let you collect points with every purchase, which you can then spend on your shopping once you’ve collected enough.

The big savings.

Student debts, mortgages, a holiday - all of these require a bit more effort than scouring for the best high street deals. If you’re looking to save for a significant amount of money, there are different ways to realistically achieve your goals. Check out websites such as My Debt Diary or Easy as VAT, which offer helpful advice for all of us finance-newbies out there!

How do you calculate your finances?

Written by Lisa Gust.