Student blog post

Why I still have a weekly allowance

Danila talks us through her weekly allowance and why she does it

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Over the last couple of years, I have become much more intentional about my spending. It helps me worry less and focus on my studies without wrecking my mental health.

So, budgeting and saving have been a godsend! That being said, I noticed a pattern of spending too much of my money immediately after payday and then scrambling the rest of the month.

So, I amended the way I budget. I continued to plan monthly but also made my weekly budget as well that consists solely of money for groceries, pocket money when on campus or at work, weekly transportation costs and some wiggle room.

My advice is to add up on average how much you spend out and about on lunch, coffee, groceries etc and use that as a starting weekly amount and run with it for two to three weeks. If you find that you are struggling to get to the end of the week, consider adding some wiggle room. If you find you have money left over, you can either roll it onto the next week, lower your allowance, or simply transfer it to savings.

In my experience for this to work, you need two separate accounts and cards. My main account is where I get paid, and where I have my direct debit set up for any bills and subscriptions that come off automatically. That card lives at home and never leaves the house. Essentially setting yourself up for success by making sure you never have access to money you can’t afford to spend – making it more intentional when you commit to making those purchases.

The second one is my “allowance” which is set up on an automatic transfer every Friday from my main account to my pre-paid debit card. That is the only card I carry around on a daily basis and never has more than 100 pounds on it at a time. Automating this has been life-changing and I feel a lot less stressed about money.

Of course, there is always the option to just use cash but too many businesses have gone cash free so it would be more limiting.

I recognise this is based on my own personality, habits and financial situation. But it has made a big difference to my mental health and savings, so I am hoping it may help someone else as well.

For more information on budgeting, check out the University’s guide on managing your money

Danila Petrova

Originally from Bulgaria, studied Digital Interaction Design.

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Student voice category Campus life, Money and finance