How to Make Your Allowance Last as a Student

One of the most difficult aspects of being a university student living alone, aside from achieving good marks, is learning how to manage one’s monthly allowance. It is not unusual to witness college students squandering their meager monthly stipend after the first week of the month, and then spending the remainder of the month with what little is left of it.

This demonstrates poor budgeting on the part of students and, if left unchecked, may result in financial difficulties in the future. Instead of hoping for the first day of the next month to arrive so you may top off your resources, wouldn’t it be preferable to spend the entire month without having to worry about whether your allowance would last you?

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Why is budgeting important?

You won’t have to worry about when you’ll get your next round of university pocket money if you carefully plan how you spend your monthly allowance and take actions that could save you a few dollars. If you want to live independently after graduating from college and landing a job, you need to learn how to budget your monthly costs as it also helps you feel more responsible and independent.

How to make your allowance last?

If you want to become ready for your future life of independence and freedom, or you simply want to last the month without having to constantly check your wallet if you can afford your next lunch, whatever the reason may be, we are here to give you a few pointers on how to budget your allowance to last you a whole month.

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1. Know how much you will have

You have to decide what you and your troops are capable of before you can win a battle. This also holds true for how you should allocate your allowance each month. Prior to doing any budgeting, find out how much you will receive from your parents or other benefactor. You may begin to predict how much money will remain after you take out needs, what luxury items you can and cannot afford, and how much allowance will remain at the end of the month (if any) by knowing how much you get each month.

Since you only receive $400 a month, you cannot create a budget for yourself that would cost you between $500 and $700 since you will run out of money by the third week. You may modify your expenditure to match your monthly allowance by determining how much you get each month. Knowing how much you get each month can help you make decisions about what kind of shampoo or coffee to buy.

2. Rule out your living expenses

Living expenses are one of the few items in your budget that you just cannot cut. These include your rent, utility, and power bills, and phone expenses. You can count utilities like water and electricity as one living expense if your rent for your apartment or dorm already includes these costs. If your carrier offers less expensive plans, you can change your phone bills by selecting a less expensive plan.

If you decide to rent the same residence and stick to the same communication schedule for the following four years, your living expense budget will not change during your time in college. Because of this, living expenditures must be taken out of your allowance as soon as each month is received because there is no room for negotiation with your landlord or network providers. 

3. Make a budget plan

After subtracting living expenses, you have established your actual monthly budget. From there, you may create a budget plan. You can allocate your $250 remaining after living expenditures from your $400 monthly stipend to four categories: food, personal hygiene, transportation, and miscellaneous.

If you are going to cook your food, a smaller amount should be sufficient if you know how to prepare meals ahead of time and buy in bulk. Fresh ingredients are less expensive than the ready-made meals offered in fast food restaurants and chains, which may cost anywhere from $3 to $25 if you want a fancy dining experience. This makes it less expensive than dining out at your neighborhood fast food or restaurant chain. The good thing about cooking your own meals is that you can make them in batches and reheat them. So, the amount you would normally use for one meal can be stretched to multiple meals if you cook at home. If you already have an empty bottle of shampoo and soap with you, you can get refills for them for a lot less money than buying bottled ones. It should still be within your budget to buy your toothbrush and toothpaste because they are less expensive than soap and shampoo. Toiletries are also frequently shockingly affordable.

Next are the costs of transportation. You might choose to just walk to your university if you manage to rent an apartment or dorm nearby. This will not only save you money but will also allow you to get some exercise in the morning. But if you live a long way from your university, you should be able to determine which means would save you money without sacrificing the time you to get to school.

Miscellaneous expenses should be the last category in your budget. Items that you purchase, including vitamins, medication, or a new purse. How much of your monthly budget you have left over should determine how much you set aside for these costs.

Students should also note the 50-30-20 rule wherein necessities take up 50% of the allowance, 30% for wants, and the remaining 20% for savings. Some variations of this budgeting system may also work for different individuals depending on their situation. This rule also works well even outside the university.

4. Carry a water bottle

If you plan on lasting the whole month with your allocated allowance, one extra pointer you should follow is to always bring a water bottle with you whenever you go to school or go out with your friends. Water can be relatively cheap and often be overlooked when budgeting but the amount you save per month just by carrying your own water bottle and not buying PET bottles can really surprise you. A person needs constant hydration and that is what bringing a water bottle with you provides: constant and free hydration.

5. Be wary of your dining expenses

If you intend to live on a tight budget for the entire month, eating out is not a good idea, as you may have already realized. Indulging in the modern-day pleasures on occasion is vital, but if you want to make it through the entire month, you should also take a step back from them. You may go to your favorite fast-food restaurant once a week or once a month, but if you go out frequently, your budget may get even more constricted than if you stayed home and skipped the happy hour.

6. Get a part-time job

It could be time to obtain a part-time job if you feel that the amount your parents give you each month is still insufficient, even after making every effort to budget it. You may choose to take a part-time job if you don’t really have a strict schedule and have a lot of free time after your course. It can provide you with valuable experience that you can later add to your resume, in addition to giving you more money to add to your budget. Most fast-food chains employ students and you can often find managers who are kind enough to adjust our shift hours to suit your class schedule. Family restaurants also take in university students as well but they do not hire as often as fast-food chains do.


As a student, you must practice disciplined spending and careful budgeting when handling your money. You may make your allowance last the entire month by knowing your complete monthly income, setting aside funds for necessities, making a thorough budget plan, and forming frugal habits like making meals at home and carrying a water bottle. Furthermore, taking into account part-time work might offer additional financial assistance and priceless work experience. Gaining financial stability during your college years and getting ready for a more autonomous and responsible future are two benefits of learning these budgeting techniques.


Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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