TSO Class: Witches on a Budget

Here at the Spiral Oak Grove, we hold classes every Wednesday night on our FB page at 8 PM (www.facebook.com/thespiraloakgrove) and I figured I would start blogging about them if I get the chance just as an aside.

Tomorrow’s class is on Budget Witchcraft and thriftiness in the craft. I am sure that a lot of you don’t have buckets of money to afford all the pretty tools on Etsy or order herbs in bulk, or buy expensive oils and incense from mass producers, so I am going to go over a few ways to practice your craft with little to no money.

First off, you don’t necessarily need ANYTHING to perform Magick other than yourself. The energy and intent resides in you and you deem how you use it But if you are like me, you like having things (I love things, all things lol) but you may not necessarily have the extra cash to spend on a brand new cast iron cauldron or a shiny athame, but there are ways to get around that and make things simple, or produce your own.


Basic Tools of Witchcraft and Mundane Items to Replace Them:

Athame: You can use a butter knife! Or an old pocket knife, or a some sort of knife that means something to you (could be an antique passed down from generations or just something you picked up at the flea market, remember to cleance it before using it)

Cauldron: A bowl, any bowl! It could be one pulled from the kitchen cabinet or a pretty crystal candy dish, or something you picked up at the thrift.

Wand: It doesn’t have to be fancy! You can wander through the woods and find a pretty stick that calls to you. Wrap it in ribbon, affix a crystal point to the top, paint symbols on it, woodburn it. Make it your own.

Chalice: You can use a basic cup or you can find a wine glass at the dollar store. Paper cups obviously work too in a pinch.

Besom: Everyone should have a broom…nuff said :P

Bell: You can get bells just about anywhere. Even if it is the little tinkly kind you use for crafts or, like I said, the thrift store may have something.

Incense Burner: You can get these at Walmart for about 98 cents. It may not be what you want, but you can always repaint things.

Altar Pentacle: This can be as simple as drawing one on a piece of paper or cardboard, or make one out of clay or wood.

Altar: This could be ANYTHING! I shelf in your bookcase, a window sill, an end table, any place that you can create sacred space in that won’t be disturbed.


The Magickal Grocery List of Basic Supplies:

Herbs: You can get your basic herbs at the grocery store. Things like Basil, Rosemary, Bay Leaves, Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Garlic, Anise, even Lavender can be purchased here. Though this is a good route to go if you don’t have a local metaphysical store or can’t order online, in the long run this can be more expensive. Granted, they are culinary grade and great for making tinctures, teas, and drinkable potions, but they tend to be a bit pricier for a smaller amount. (There is a brand called Badia that I know they sell at Publix, however. They sell some of their spices in little packets for about a $1 a piece)

If you have a green thumb, or know someone that does, you can also grow your own and dry them out for your herb cabinet OR forage for plants and herbs in nature. Just make sure you know what you are looking for so that you don’t mistake something poisonous for something edible.

Oils: I make a lot of oils from dried herbs, essential blends, and even crystal infusions. Any carrier oil will essentially work, but I use Olive Oil for EVERYTHING. It is easy to obtain at grocery stores, even though it can get expensive, but places like Aldi’s and even Trader Joes (if you have one), can have pretty cheap olive oil. I also watch the sales at Kroger and buy it there too. Olive oil was traditionally used in the Jewish Temple as a way to anoint one’s self before prayer or entering the Holy of Holies. It does have a scent to it, especially if you don’t purchase EVOO, but it still retains the smell of whatever you steep in it… the longer the better. This oil is also good for the skin and generally doesn’t cause any sort of reaction (unless you are allergic to Olives, of course). Another route for oil is coconut oil, which is everywhere now a days. The only issue with that is that this oil is a solid under 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so you either have to keep it in a warm place or turn your oil in to more of an anointing salve, which I have done. This is also another great one for the skin all around and is great for cosmetic magick or just natural remedies.

If you have the money you can also buy jojoba, grapeseed, almond, and others that are just a bit fancier, but also cost more.

Powders: I love to make magickal powders and really fell in love with them while researching the Voodoo tradition. I tend to use corn starch for this as it is super fine and easily mixes with herbs, natural powdered pigments, and even oils. Make sure to mix it thoroughly if you are adding oil as anything liquid makes it clump up quick. You can also use rice flour, arrowroot powder, or even flour if that is what you have. Remember that all of these powders have different properties too.

CORN: Protection, luck, divination.

WHEAT: Fertility, money spells, divination.

RICE: Money, sex, fertility, protection 

ARROWROOT: Good Fortune, Shows Opportunity, Purification, cleansing, healing


Incense: I mostly make loose blends with herbs and resins, but occasionally I get creative. There are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube for how to make your own cones and even sticks, but this usually calls for added supplies that you may not have the funds to purchase at the moment. If you don’t, either go the loose route, or get some cheap scents from your local gas station, Dollar Store, or Walmart. Before making ANYTHING that is burnable, PLEASE make sure that it is safe for you to do so. Some things are only good in well ventilated areas (Like Wormwood) and some can severely harm or kill you if inhaled. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Salt: This is self explanatory. If you cook AT ALL, you probably have salt around the house. Salt is one of those necessary staples for spells and rituals and is used to protect, cleanse, and consecrate. You don’t have to have fancy pink Himalayan salt or salt from the Dead Sea; I just purchase the Kroger brand canisters for 59 cents and stock up when I can. If you want, or need, Black Salt, you can always easily make this with scrapings from your cauldron or by adding burnt powdered Rue to your salt (though this usually results in a gray salt unless you use a TON of Rue) Here at TSO, we make our own with ash from the ritual fire.

Moon Water or Lustral Water: I see this being sold ALL the time on places like Etsy and other New Age stores, but I feel like it is silly to buy something that you can make for FREE! Bottle your water, put it in a mason jar, even fill up a cup and place it under the Full Moon…BAM! MOON WATER!. You can get fancy with it and boil salt and/or crystals in the water before placing it out in the moon for an added punch.

Food: Sometimes food is all you need to perform a spell or to use in a ritual. All foods have magickal connotation from bread to fruits and veggies, even meat. You can also buy fresh herbs at your grocery store too.Here is a good site that gives you magickal correspondences in the kitchen.

http://witcheslore.com/bookofshadows/herbology/food-magic-for-witches/2908/


Other Magickal Tools/Items That You Don’t Need to Spend an Arm and a Leg to Buy:

These sorts of things cost more than what is detailed above, but being frugal with other tools and items may afford you the money to splurge a little with other things.

Crystals: Everyone loves crystals, but let’s face it…they can get SUPER expensive. I like to spend my money on things like this since they are harder to obtain for free or on a budget, but it can be done! Sites like eBay and crystal wholesalers can be a good place to pick up some quart points and other small chunks of mineral goodness. There are also gems shows and flea markets, as well as some metaphysical stores that sell these for a reasonable price. There is one Metaphysical store near us that has a “Treasure Chest” of small crystal chips that you can scoop in to a bag for a varied mix, or sift through them one by one like I do. I use these in crafting, elixirs, spells, and charm bags too. If you know what you are looking for, you can also forage for these sorts of things…quartz is EVERYWHERE.

Divinatory Tools: These can also be on the pricey side. A new Tarot or Oracle deck can run as low as $20 and sometimes as high as almost $50 depending on what you are looking at. This is another thing that I spend my money on instead of other things, but you don’t always have to. You can trade with others for a deck, have it gifted to you for a birthday or Sabbat, or you can make your own! Making a deck will take some time, but think of the power that it will hold since it was handcrafted BY YOU.

Pendulums are another thing that I just love, but can also be really expensive depending on what it is made of. But you can make a pendulum out of just about anything that can swing: a ring, a wire wrapped crustal, clay, Sculpey, anything that has weight and a nice shape that isn’t too bulky. You can hang it from a chain, ribbon, yarn, etc.

Scrying is another good tool that doesn’t require much depending on the type of scrying you are doing. You can stare in to the fire, use a dark colored bowl filled with water, read the tea leaves after a nice cuppa,or even paint the glass black in an old photo frame and make your own scrying mirror!

Runes, Ohgam, and other casting type divination can also be easily made. I have made runes on wood and salt dough, painted ogham on fancy Popsicle sticks, and some people even use bones and other lots to divine. ,

Ouija boards and Witch boards are also another divinatory tool, but a lot of people don’t like to consider them and don’t condone their use either. This is up to your discretion, but I use them and have made several on my own too. Sometimes that personal touch can aid you in your work.

Candles: Candles tend to be super important for the witch. We use them as a barrier in circle, to scry, in candle magick, and to give us light so we can see what we are doing! Candles are another one of those things that can cost a lot of money depending on how often you use them to practice. Walmart is always a cheap route to go when looking for candles and they usually have a variety of colors in taper AND votives for under a few dollars. Dollar Tree and stores like that have small bags containing 25 tealights which are always good to have on hand, and sometimes varied colors of tapers and votives as well. You can watch the sales at places like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s too, but I have found that my favorite is IKEA. You can get a bag of 100 tea lights for under $4 as well as an array of colored tea lights, pillars, and votives for really cheap considering the average cost of candles. If you don’t have the room to stock up ( I have an extensive collection that I have been amassing for years ) you can always buy chime candles which tend to run about 20 cents a piece at most places and get the cute little holders that go with them (I have small metal star ones that cost me 67 cents a piece wholesale) In a pinch, I have even used different colored birthday candles which is what I store in my altar boxes.

Essental/Fragrance Oils: This may be something that you choose to spend the money that you have saved on other supplies for. Essential oils are usually EXPENSIVE and you have to really hunt around and do your research to make sure that what you are getting is actually essential oil and not something labeled as EO with a shit ton of fillers ( like Young Living or doTerra) I have gotten good ones off sellers on eBay, but my favorite place to get them is Mountain Rose Herbs (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/). They use all wildcrafted herbs, all organic, and have a wonderful business. They can be on the cheaper side, but even then there are still going to be some oils that are just crazy expensive regardless. Fragrance oils can be a better route if you are just wanting the scent, but may not have the magickal properties that you are looking for. You can always make your own EO too, but this requires a lot of setup, supplies, time and money so it may not work for the true witch on a budget.

Bottles, Jars, & Bags: These are essential if you are going to be keeping dried herbs on hand, making your own oils and tinctures, or creating charm bags. My herb cabinet is not streamline whatsoever; I buy jars from EVERYWHERE to make sure that I get the best price for the quantity. Mason jars from the local grocery store are always a good go to. You can get anywhere from 12 to 24 jars depending on size for about $8. I also watch the sales at the craft stores and snatch up the cute little jars with hinges and pretty shapes, or World Market has little spice jars from 99 cents to $2.99 depending on size.

Bottles are another thing that I use a lot of. I order mine in bulk from places like eBay, Azure Green, and wholesale bottle suppliers like www.sks-bottle.com and www.specialtybottle.com. You can also get pretty larger ones at the craft stores and cool novelty ones around Halloween just about everywhere during that season.

Bags can be purchased fairly cheap at your local metaphysical store or ordered online, but I like to make my own out of scrap fabric, collect them from party favors, and even find them in the party section of a store (like for weddings or baby showers)

Art Supplies: If you are crafty, artsy, or just want to try your hand at crafting, get yourself some art supplies. Acrylic paint, paint brushes, Sculpey, a wood burner, whatever! You can use these things to paint up your altar, wood burn an altar pentacle, make talismans and pendants out of polymer clay, find little wooden craft supplies like blocks and disks to make divinatory tools…the options are endless when you align your creative mind with the magickal. I feel like hand crafted and hand made tools hold much more power than something that can be bought already made.


For Everything Else, The Thrift Store Is Your Friend

Seriously…the thrift store is a GODSEND when it comes to needing altar supplies, ritual garb, magickal knick-knacks, and what-nots. You can get used jewelry or cigar boxes to make a power box, find old pieces of cloth or sheets and table runners to use as an altar cloth (or you can go get a yard of cheap fabric at JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby), you can find statuary to decorate your sacred space (I have bought things and repainted them to suit my needs), you can find special clothing that can’t be bought new and turn it in to your ritual dress or even a jacket or cloak to wear during spell work, you can find fancy wine glasses to use as a chalice, bowls or pots for your cauldron (I actually found several brass cauldrons at one Goodwill AND a crystal ball stand), and I  even purchased my nifty little altar from my local thrift! We just have to remember to cleanse these sorts of things before using them magickally (which I sometimes forget to do) but just because it isn’t brand new or initially made for your intended purpose, doesn’t mean that one man’s trash can’t be another witch’s treasure. You can find tons of things to repurpose, reclaim, and make your own at these places as well as your local flea market, yard sales, and sometimes even antique shops have reasonably priced goodies for you to use in your spiritual journey.

I think that just about covers everything! Now take your thrifty self out in to the world and build a magickal haven from every day resources and used items that other people thought were worthless. Just like with magick, make something beautiful out of seemingly nothing.

Feel free to ask questions or add your input if there is anything that I missed!

~Emilee Moon

I have been seeing a lot of posts and questions about how it’s hard to keep up with the “studyblr aesthetics” and I’m disappointed that being a studyblr has become synonymous to owning expensive stationery and having impeccable organization skill. As a broke college student, I understand the concerns of many studyblrs who cannot keep up with the mainstream contents that showcase such things. Let’s be honest, studyblring can hurt your bank account. So I have come up with some alternatives + tips & tricks that can give you the same aesthetic feelings and function without breaking the bank:

Disclaimer: This post, by no means, is meant to depreciate the use of common “studyblr aesthetic” items. I will admit that even I use the “mainstream” items sometimes. Once in a while, it’s okay to give into the craving of buying all these nice stationery for the sake of self-happiness. Please also note, some of this may be biased and is solely reflected on my opinions; you are free to discuss your standpoint.

An eternal reminder: Being a studyblr has nothing to do with what stationery you have, rather it’s about actually studying. So get off Tumblr and hit the books. For some people, stationery is a means of motivation to get started on said studying.

Stationery

  • Muji Notebooks: Need cute notebooks that look really nice and aesthetics like those Muji notebooks? Buy a composition notebook and cover up the marble print with scrapbook paper or washi tape (just leave the black binding alone for a complete look). Trust me, it will not only look cute and unique, but your going to love using it. Spiral notebooks are just as great to decorate! (Update) Some notebooks are really cheap from JetPensDIY Custom Notebook Covers by @studyquirk
  • Five Star (*updated): The Five Star 5-subject notebook is pretty durable, but unless your book bag happens to be a battlefield, you probably don’t need to spend the extra money on the Five Star when you can get a generic 5-subject notebook. In the meantime, there are also several notebooks out there that also have the same poly-covers and pockets inside the notebook, for those who need that extra protection and space.
  • Mildliners: I admit, those Mildliner highlighters are gorgeous to look at on those notes. But…Crayola markers (especially the tropical/pastel ones) can do the same thing and give the same clean look on your notes. Tap into your inner child (don’t worry, they’re washable)! 
  • Staedtler/Stabilo/Copic Markers: You don’t really need 20 different colors to color-code your notes. Three different shades of greens and blues is not needed. Instead, Papermate flair pens are a good alternative, same colors, more ink, less money. Sharpie Pens are also a good alternative if you want nice thin strokes. 
  • Muji pens (*updated): I admit; writing with the 0.38mm Muji pen is like euphoria because it makes your notes look so pretty. Pilot Juice: same 0.38mm/0.5mm gel pen, and it comes in colors (and much cheaper)! It even has a clip thingie! Ah, Paper Mate InkJoy is also a beautiful set of colored pens for a cheap alternative as well. See @fuckstudy’s stationery review. 
  • Kipling 100 case: Let’s be honest, what are you going to do lugging around enough pens to supply the entire lecture hall? You do not need that many pens (unless you chronically loose all your pens). A simple minimalist pencil case or a medium size makeup bag can serve the same capabilities of holding all your utensils. 

Organization

  • Get a small succulent plant for your desk. It brightens up your desk space and makes it look more pleasing to the eye.
  • Tea light candles + succulent plant + coffee mug (throw in your notes for extra effects) make the absolute trio of deskspo.
  • Pin-boards are great for putting up syllabi, class schedules, and calendars. Don’t like poking holes on your paper? Hang binder clips on push pins.
  • Woah! There are so many nice people on Tumblr that post free printables. Maybe you can use one of those calendars to stay on track with everything?
  • Use post-it notes for reminders, deadlines, and inspirational quotes. Black sharpie usually makes things stand out nicely on the post-it note.
  • Redecorate boxes (e.g. shoe boxes) with wrapping paper for some cute organization space/bins. 
  • Clipboards. These magical boards with a spring clip can keep all your loose-leaf papers in one place and still look nice, instead of a chaotic mess. Plus, that back support when you want to write notes on your bed/lap.
  • You can customize your binders/file folders with washi tape. 
  • Use Mason jars as stationary holders! The washi tape-covered metal can pencil jars are cute as well!
  • Binder clips. Mini staplers. File holders.
  • Yes white desks are perfect for getting the perfect picture of your notes. But, wooden desks are just as classy. Black desks makes things stand out nicely too. 
  • Don’t clutter your desk. You just need your bare essentials to study.

Textbooks & Tech-y stuff

  • Paperback is cheaper than hardcover. This goes for textbooks, novels and books in general.
  • Ebooks are cheaper than paperback. Sometimes they’re even free online. You just have to know how to google for it. 
  • Buy used books. Can’t buy? Rent it! 
  • Here’s a guide to buying textbooks
  • If you gotta buy tech stuff, see if you can buy them with a student discount. 
  • Wait for back-to-school sales or tax-free holidays or Black Friday to buy stuff, especially tech-y stuff.
  • Always consider university program specifications before buying an OS versus Windows.

Apps, Extensions, Etc.

  • VSCOcam app. Yes, we do filter our pictures to make it look 100X better. Natural light also makes the picture look really nice, so sit next to the window or something. 
  • Note taking on your laptop? Google Docs, Microsoft OneNote and Evernote are free note taking websites that allow you to sync your notes across several platforms. 
  • Pomodoro with Flat Tomato (free on iOS)
  • FocusNow is an alternative to Forest on iOS. 
  • Lanes is a to-do app, week planner and pomodoro timer extension
  • Momentum is a Google Chrome extension that is a personal dashboard for to-do list, motivation, etc.
  • Minimal New Tab Clock is a minimal clock extension (light and dark theme) for new tabs on Google Chrome
  • See more here and here
Bad News, Republicans: President Obama Has Erased Bush's $1.4 Trillion Deficit Mess

Bad News, Republicans: President Obama Has Erased Bush’s $1.4 Trillion Deficit Mess

Sorry, Republicans. It looks like President Obama has successfully cleaned up the federal deficit mess left by former President Bush despite your repeated attempts to sabotage him. Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility – despite running up record deficits and ballooning the national debt with tax cuts for the rich and never-ending wars. But that title is about to be owned by…

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I know this has been done before somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it, so I made my own post! 

Things you can get at the dollar store for witchcraft

:: Herbs 

:: Salt 

:: Goblets, good as chalices 

:: Altar decor (little flowers, etc) 

:: Jars 

:: Candles 

:: Statues around halloween 

:: Little dishes and plates, good for altars 

:: Little journals and notebooks 

:: A frame (to create a black mirror or to print out pics of your gods and insert) 

:: Organizers and containers 

:: Knives, for use as athames or bollines 

:: Craft supplies to help you diy stuff 

:: Incense, incense burners 

:: Matches 

:: Trivets you can diy into pentacles 

:: Books for bibliomancy 

:: Garden stones. Paint runes on them = instant rune set 

:: A lot of other random stuff - check one out!

7

Best Vegan Recipes of 2015 - Part 1

Plant Based On A Budget - $25 Week Meal Plan

Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad

Cranberry Strawberry Sandwich

Vegan Mocha Chocolate Cheesecake (GF)

Avocado Pasta

31 Vegan Recipes for $3 or Less

Cheap Vegan Meal Ideas

Vegan Halloween Treats Roundup

3

When Leanne Brown moved to New York from Canada to earn a master’s in food studies at New York University, she couldn’t help noticing that Americans on a tight budget were eating a lot of processed foods heavy in carbs.

“It really bothered me,” she says. “The 47 million people on food stamps — and that’s a big chunk of the population — don’t have the same choices everyone else does.”

Brown guessed that she could help people in SNAP, the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, find ways to cook filling, nourishing and flavorful meals. So she set out to write a cookbook full of recipes anyone could make on a budget of just $4 a day.

The result is Good and Cheap, which is free online and has been downloaded over 700,000 times.

Cheap Eats: A Cookbook For Eating Well On A Food Stamp Budget

ADVICE FOR COLLEGE

CLASSES

  • don’t sign up for morning classes. allow yourself time to wake up, go get breakfast, and not be in a rush.
  • don’t take classes that end later than 5 or 6 so you have enough down time and study time in the evening, without having to overlap with dinner.
  • go to seminars on interesting topics that don’t necessarily relate to your major.
  • don’t take back-to-back classes. allow yourself to grab a snack or rest. you might also have to cross campus and not give yourself enough time otherwise.
  • check out ratemyprofessors.com before enrolling in a class.
  • take every extra credit opportunity.

HEALTH

  • pour your own drink.
  • don’t mix liquors.
  • drink as much water as you do alcohol.
  • don’t hesitate to call 911.
  • if you’re hungover, drink water, and eat bananas and saltines
  • stay active.

SOCIAL

  • nobody else has friends the first couple weeks either. you’re not alone.
  • leave your dorm door open when you’re in there and don’t mind distractions.
  • go to as many events as possible.
  • decorate your dorm with your roommate as an easy bonding experience.

LIVING

  • make dorm rules with your roommate to set some basic boundaries in the first couple weeks of school.
  • empty your trash regularly.
  • keep a surplus of a quick snack, like cereal or granola bars, for when you’re running late or not hungry enough for the cafeteria.
  • bed bath & beyond, as well as daiso (or find a store), have good and relatively cheap dorm supplies. 
  • save receipts for everything you purchase. figure out how much you spend per week on the bare necessities, and set a weekly budget slightly above that.
  • plan on spending an extra $100 on things you forgot for your dorm.
  • here’s a list of what you should pack.

MISC

  • check your student email very regularly. your class might get cancelled, or a free event might be held.
  • take advantage of free services.
  • don’t take your paid services for granted, either. do your homework and don’t sleep in class.
  • explore your school’s website for interesting or useful information.
Here’s How to Eat Vegan for a Week For Under $50

Some of the most affordable foods on the planet are vegan, including rice, beans, legumes, pasta, and all kinds of fruits and veggies. Despite this, people will often ask us about eating vegan on a budget.

So we’ve compiled some handy tips and tricks that will keep you veg without breaking the bank:

Dry beans are worth the wait.
Sure, you have to soak them overnight, but dry beans are exponentially cheaper than canned. They’re also a delicious, protein-packed essential in a budget-friendly vegan diet.

Buy it frozen.
One great way to save money is to reduce food waste. Frozen veggies like corn, peas, and green beans are great because they last almost forever.

Get into oatmeal.
Yeah, oatmeal is a super secret vegan hack. It’s filling, loaded with iron and calcium, and one of the cheapest things you could eat for breakfast.

Stick with produce under $2 per pound.
When choosing fresh fruits and veggies, try to stick with items under $2/lb.

If you want to splurge, buy some Vegenaise.
Of course you can just use it like mayo, but you can also create sour cream (just add lemon juice), salad dressings, and sauces with this must-have specialty item.

Soup is a thing.
Soups loaded with veggies, grains, and beans hold well as leftovers, stretch your dollars, and make great filling meals!

Stick with staples.
Rice, pasta, and peanut butter are all great choices for affordability and versatility.

Every night can be taco night.
Put those tasty veggies and beans to use inside a toasted tortilla! Add some Vegenaise sour cream and you’ve got yourself a tasty and inexpensive vegan dinner.

To people who say that there’s no such thing as ageism against the young:

- The new budget has announced a minimum wage stratification in which workers under 25 earn £6.50 an hour (about $10), but workers over 25 earn £7.20 an hour (about $11).

- The budget also says that the over-25 rate will rise to £9 (about $14) in 2020. The under-25 rate will remain at £6.50 however.

- In addition to the current housing benefit rules that deems under-25s ineligible if they’re not living in shared accommodation, Tory plans include making 18-21 year olds ineligible for housing benefit at all.

- Maintenance grants (in which a portion or all of your government provided student maintenance loans, meant to pay for your living costs at uni, are written off as a grant and don’t have to be paid back, if your parents earn under a certain threshold) for university students are to be scrapped entirely. This comes only years after tuition fees were raised from £3000 a year (about $4600) to £9000 (about $14000). 

- In the new budget, state pensions and benefits aimed at people over 50 will account for £95billion, more than every other sector of benefits put together. The benefits that have seen the most cuts - benefits aimed at under-25s and benefits aimed at the unemployed - account for less than a ninth of that.

Like, wow, this current budget couldn’t be more of a Let’s Screw Over The Young Manifesto if it fucking tried.

this is the second part of our financing series. part 1 is here

Making a budget can be difficult and confusing and might be the hardest part of staying on top of your personal finance. Here at coffeeplanner, we’ve broken this down into 7(ish) easy steps.

1. CHOOSE YOUR MEDIUM

will you be using pen and paper? the notes app on your phone? or a fancy personal finance app on your phone/tablet/computer? Choose whatever you think is easiest and most accessible for you. As a student you’re almost always on the go and it’d be pretty handy to have your budget with you.

2. CHECK THAT CASH FLOW

do you have a job? are you relying on the student loan gods? Understand where your money is coming from. This means not just knowing whose money it is, but how often you get more money and how much. When/how you get your money is the foundation of any budget.

3. TRACK EXPENSES:

when first creating a budget, it can be hard to estimate how much money you need per category. For a week or two, spend as you normally would and track those expenses. This will be the basis for your budget. Avoid modifying your spending habits because this will skew the results.

4. CREATE CATEGORIES

where do you usually spend money? meals? snacks? transportation? create a list of categories where you usually spend money. Try to be a little specific because categories like “food” can get out of hand pretty quickly when you’re a student. So try something like “meals,” “coffee/tea,” “snacks” instead, so you can know more accurately where your money is going!

5. SLICE AND DICE

now that you know what you’re spending, add up the totals for all your categories and see where cuts can be made. Are you spending $5 a day on coffee? cut that down with a coffeemaker and instant coffee. This is the true “budgeting” part. Try to keep limits/goals realistic, but absolutely within your spending capabilities. Even if you only save a couple dollars a week, it will definitely add up!

6. INCLUDE A BUFFER ZONE

we all know those days/weeks when you just can’t with life anymore, and for those days sometimes the only thing that can help is a tub of ice cream and/or a movie with friends. This is what your buffer zone is for. Set aside a small amount of money each cycle for emergencies like self-care or a late night taxi ride. Whether the money leftover is transferrable between cycles is up to you, do what works for you.

7. COMMIT

a budget only works if you stick with it. Using the money you save, you can treat yourself to something small each cycle to keep up the work! Staying in budget is hard, but totally do-able. You got this!

// budgeting apps

wally - free - iOS/android - an easy-to-use expense tracker. keep track of what you’re spending in different categories and save pictures of receipts so you don’t have to carry them around!

mint - free - iOS/android - the heavy-duty personal finance app. American based, but works for many different countries.

3

Printables: Monthly In (Earnings) & Out (Spendings)

If you would like to share how you use this printable, tag me as #boligraff and I’ll reblog it!

The first week of June has gone by, and with it half of the year. I had an urgent need to settle my expenses and earnings of these past six months, so I want to share with you today the following printable. Here you can record your earnings as well as your spendings and, at the end of the month, calculate the balance.

I made a redesign of this website’s printable, taking out some things I did not need. If you have any questions about how to use it, feel free to ask. I definitely recommend the Frugal Mama website, it is full of useful stuff.

Download in my dropbox studyblr folder.

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Remember I’m presently working only with requests, instead of publishing random printables. If you have any suggestion or comment, be sure to ask in my inbox. Have a nice week!

(Tagging mutuals and blogs I like. Thank you for leaving so uplifitng tags in your reblogs! Believe me, it encourages me a lot)

@neko-with-roses @hazie @studyang @eliotwghs @alicewahlbrewer @helstudies @diyaanat @gardenstudy @carriefishervevo @i-speakcoffee @lawrelcrowns @study-bunni @ari6nna