Welcome to my newest series! The Budget Diaries pays homage to some of my favorite blog post series, the Money Diaries of Refinery29 and Cosmopolitan Magazine. In this series, I’ll be interviewing fellow bloggers about their budgeting habits, giving us a small peek into their financial lives.
Our first guest will be Eish of Eish Student Budget, a blog for university students interested in learning about personal finance. Without further ado, here we go!
Hi, thank you for agreeing to this interview! Will you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! Thank you for having me. Well, I am a South African university student and personal finance blogger. My focus is personal finance for university students.
eishstudentbudget is a personal finance blog that educates university students on their finances. I aim to help students “Take the ‘eish’ out of student finances.” “Eish” is a colloquial (informal) South African word used to express surprise, annoyance, pain, etc. It is a word typically used in conversations around money. eishstudentbudget aims to change that.
That’s great! Do you keep a consistent budget? How did you start budgeting?
Yes, I keep a somewhat consistent budget! I say somewhat because I sometimes spend more than what is allocated towards debt (monthly installment) payments. It feels quite awful admitting this, but I spend quite a bit more than budgeted on takeouts. I am very much ashamed.
I started budgeting in my second year of university. That is when I truly analysed what I was spending money on and if my allowance covered it. I also factored in savings. The first year of university was hectic. I never knew how to spend money wisely, and being given “a lot” was something I wasn’t used to.
I’m sure a lot of university students can relate to that! How much is your typical weekly budget?
My typical weekly budget is R1 150 (approximately $81,09c).
I see. What’s a typical week of expenses for you?
A typical week of expenses consists of transportation and food (takeout) costs. I shouldn’t be spending on takeout because I can prepare lunch at home and take it with me to campus.
Transportation costs: R240 ($16,92) per week. I make use of Uber and the Gautrain. The Gautrain is a commuter rail system in the province (state) of Gauteng.
Food (takeout) costs: this is a tricky one, because it is not a fixed cost. I spend anything from R20 ($1,41) to R300 ($21,15) a week I do not like this. I could save a lot of money by waking up earlier in the mornings and preparing my lunch. The money saved could go towards paying of [sic] debt quicker.
What do you think is the hardest thing about budgeting?
The hardest thing about budgeting is actually sticking to (your budget) it! It is a test of one’s discipline and commitment. This cannot be overemphasised. I’ve drawn up the most simplified of budgets and have not stuck to them. This is something I’m working on.
I whole-heartedly agree! What advice can you give to anyone who’s interested in budgeting?
I would say they shouldn’t be too strict on themselves at first. Create a budget that reflects your priorities and give yourself room for deviations, but don’t completely blow your budget!
I’ve found that creating a budget that reflects my priorities and “money values” makes it much easier to follow. In addition to this, find what works best for you and try to keep it as simple as possible.
Awesome! Anything to say to our dear readers?
Don’t be “normal.” Normal is making only the minimum payments towards debt when you could be paying more. Normal is spending money on takeout or “lunch” everyday and not preparing lunch at home. Normal is not saving towards an emergency fund. Normal is broke. Don’t be normal.
I’d like to leave your readers with this quote by Vince Lombardi:
Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.
Thank you so much Eish and may you always lead a financially free life!
Thank you for having me.
#eishstudentbudget is a #personalfinance blog for uni students! 💸
If you want to check out the other posts in this series, take a look at this link right here.
Have something to share? If you’d like to be a part of this series, feel free to email me at email@example.com! I’m looking forward to having you here!