15 November 2023

How to Budget on an Apprenticeship

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Depending on the level of apprenticeship you do, you can earn between £18,800 and £24,600 per year. That’s a lot of money to get a handle on, so how do you manage it all and resist the temptation to splurge it all on Robux?

It’s simple, budgeting! Life is life-ing right now, and the cost of living crisis doesn’t seem to be getting better anytime soon, so the more you can do to spend and save smartly, the better.

Read on to find out how to budget during your apprenticeship and some ways you can save money.

Track your spending

Checking your account daily can help you see what transactions have happened that day and even help you spot any issues like fraud or unauthorised transactions.

Pick a month and write down how much you were paid and what all your outgoings were. That’ll be the basis for creating a realistic monthly budget.

Create a budget spreadsheet

This will probably be the single most important thing you’ll do.

A budget spreadsheet will help you visualise your monthly incomings and outgoings and help you establish how much you’ll be left to play with for things outside of your bills and living costs.

You could go semi-old school and use a notepad, or a program like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.

But just like most things, there’s an app for that. Monefy, Emma, Fleur and Budget Planner (Snoop Finance) are all highly-rated apps to help you put together a solid budget plan.

What should a budget include?

There are loads of expenses you should be thinking about that you’ll need to add to your budget. Some may or may not apply, but they’re all things you will need to start thinking about.

To begin with, there are five basic elements of your budget. These are:

Once you’ve got yourself in the habit of setting up a monthly budget, you can then begin to look at expenses for the future like saving for a house or a car. Or just saving to stack up emergency money.

Find out more about why an apprenticeship is the way to go during the cost of living crisis.

Ways to save money

If you’ve already got your monthly budget sorted, or you’re just looking for a few more ways to save those coins, there are loads of options out there.

Totum Apprentice Card

Just because you’re not a student, doesn’t mean there aren’t discount options for apprentices. That’s where the Totum card comes in, they offer the apprentice card that gives you 500+ discounts across 350+ brands and stores including;

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • ASOS
  • TUI
  • Three.

You’ll also get a free Tastecard that’ll give you 2 for 1 on meals, 50% to 25% off food at thousands of restaurants and cinema discounts. There’s also the option to grab an I.D. card too. For £24.99, it’s a steal.

TfL Photocards

Travel in the country is expensive. It’s as if the trains are gold-plated or encrusted with sapphires…But if you live in London, you can get a little discount for your troubles.

If you’re aged 16-17, you can get your hands on the 16+ Photocard. You’ll get;

  • Free travel on buses & trams
  • 50% off adult PAYG fares on Tube, DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line (excluding between West Drayton and Reading) and most National Rail services in London.

If you’re 18 and over, there’s a photocard for apprentices! You’ll get 30% off adult-rate travelcards and bus and tram passes.

Prep a packed lunch

You might hear the words ‘meal prep’ and think of people with oversized muscles, but in truth – it’s a fantastic way of planning meals and ultimately saving you from buying your lunch while in the office.

There are also loads of meal ideas for those on a budget, whether you’re an apprentice, a student, or just tightening those purse strings.

Speaking of food, if you’re 18 and above – why not grab yourself a rewards card for one of your fave supermarkets? The Tesco Clubcard, Sainsbury’s Nectar card, Lidl Plus, we could go on. They’re a fantastic option to get money off your shopping.

Open a savings account/ISA

A savings account is always a good idea. And there are loads of options too.

It’s worth checking with your bank what they offer. Some accounts will require you to have at least £10 to open. Some require at least £500. So it’s worth shopping around to see what works for you.

If you’re looking for a short-term or a rainy day fund, banks like Monzo and Starling are great because you can access your savings anytime. Plus you can set up rounded-up payments that can be auto-added to your savings pot. Magic!

You could also try a savings challenge. The 1p challenge is a low-cost way to save around £667 a year.

Financial independence is everything. Learning how to budget during your apprenticeship will take you to a whole new level of adulting when you’re ready.

Good luck!