The Art of Budgeting

Seamus Seamus / Auckland campus, Wellington campusLeave a Comment

I’m so poor I only have $20 for the whole week

What are you going to do with that $20?

Spend it in one go?
Buy important stuff?
Just hold on to it?

The painful struggle of having little to no money is the doom of my life…actually it isn’t, it is the haven of learning to budget what I have. What I was given by my parents was $50 dollars a week because after board I was left with a blue note with a few coins.

I was never unhappy because life could be worse. I was more happy to have the experience of being independent in the windy city of Wellington.

I applied for jobs but I had no luck so I gave up, and used what I had, $60 and a few coins.

During my Wellington journey I learnt to be my mother and budget what I had. I didn’t really have a social life because I could not come to terms with spending my money in one night, only to be left hungry for a whole week.

Even though I had $60 dollars there were flat communal payments.

Planning my money

As I said I was given $60 a week. I was so tight with my money I spent $20 or less on grocery. I always made sure I had the money for my share of the flat’s facilities. Sometimes I would spend just a bit over, especially when it came to essentials that I really needed. I was a scrooge with my money, whatever leftover money I had I would save it for the coming week or for outings with friends.

Always plan a head with your money. Locate where your money is going so you don’t over spend. Any left overs chuck it in the piggy bank for next time.

Buying food and others

Search down those discounts, and compare prices with each other. You’re only one man so whatever you buy should last you throughout the week or even the month!

I know people resort to noodles because they are cheap but I didn’t. I don’t like noodles, they never filled my stomach.

I searched the meat fridges for those cheap meats! But I was very specific about where I would buy meat. I would rarely buy meat from big supermarkets such as Countdown, New World etc. because they’re expensive. I bought from butcheries that had cheap decent meat for one person.

If you can’t afford fresh meat. Tuna and rice will be your best friend. Its affordable and delicious.  You’ll have rice for weeks, tuna for days, and money for alcohol.

Just remember what you consume is what comes out from behind! Think smart on what you buy, is it worth it or not?

Find generous friends who will feed you because I did. I thank those who helped me. They know who they are! Thank you very very much.

Sometimes I would feel like a pie and I would find the courage not to buy from the dairy. I would walk to countdown, and buy a cheaper pie from there.

When I bought body wash, I would hide it in my room…I need that to last me for as long as forever! Shampoo and conditioner, I’ll use my flatmates LOL. Share what you want to share with them.

OH MY GOSH! Have you got your student over draft?

If you have not got a student over draft I recommend you not to get one.
I’ll tell you about the scheme.

You can borrow up to $2000 – I don’t know if they’ve raised it, usually it’s $2000 max.
You can use it all, and it will be interest free as long as you are studying. You can supposedly pay it off within your three year degree…”I can totes pay it off with my StudyLink money.”

It honestly sounds really good! You can buy yourself a nice phone, laptop, lots of nice food, makeup and the world. Then comes the end of your $2000 and you are back to broke student however you have become a $2k broke  student!

But would you want to have a negative bank account all the time? That looks like this, -$1000 then comes in your $170 (from where ever) then it will look like -$830. Once you spend that $170 it will go back to -$1000. Come end of semester two, you have no job or income. As the weeks go on without any income in your account, your bank will start calling you, “I see your account hasn’t had any income since the 20th of November”.

It will be convenient to have all that money, however it isn’t your money it’s the banks money that you have to pay back before interest is charged. Don’t get sucked into their marketing tactics!

I was one of those suckers. I got $500, which I was glad of but it went up to $1000. How? You can over draw your over draft. I went $500 over #YOLO.

If you can afford it go for it. But I say don’t! They just want commission or to reach target. I feel sorry for those workers! But hey its a dog eat dog world.

Free should be your second name

The struggle is real when you have little money, you have to do with what you have. Sometimes it is hard to stretch your money out to last long – lets be honest there will be times where you will spend your money stupidly. Mistakes are made to learn from. Right?

That’s why I say search for free! Everyone likes free!

See a 10 cent coin on the road – pick it up. It could make up for the extra cents at the end of your buys.

See fruits on your neighbours tree – ask for some. See free fruits/food at your university student association desk – take some.

Getting real hungry – let someone know at uni.

Be a broke student with nothing on your name not a broke-er student.



Fakaalofa lahi atu and Talofa, my name is Seamus I am half Niuean and Samoan, I am a Communication student at Massey University and I am currently in my last year of uni, YAY. What I love doing is writing creatively, I love to write because that is my passion, and it helps me put all my creative ideas into words. Not only do I enjoy writing I also enjoy cooking, if you must know I am a good cook. Other than that, I like doing active activities such as walking through the mall into the food court, bush walks, beach walks and a bit of running…anyways, my aim as a blogger is to share the university experience, not only my experience but also the students around me. But my main goal is to motivate and to encourage you through my writing! Happy studying and happy living everyone in New Zealand and out there someplace in the world!