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How to navigate a fresher’s budget to mitigate costs

Tanzia TD
22 Feb 2024 22:06:03 | Update: 22 Feb 2024 22:06:03
How to navigate a fresher’s budget to mitigate costs

In a world where the cost of living is constantly on the rise, making ends meet can be a daunting task in a city like Dhaka — especially for those living on a tight budget.

For individuals managing their finances with a monthly income of around Tk 18,000-25,000, budgeting becomes an art form requiring a blend of creativity, resourcefulness, and a touch of austerity.

However, with careful planning and strategic choices, it is possible to navigate financial constraints without compromising the quality of life.

This article delves into practical strategies for mitigating costs and maximising budget, covering essential aspects of life.


Sharing an apartment or a room can reduce housing costs by half. Co-living spaces can be particularly beneficial for individuals who prioritise a social living environment and are willing to compromise on personal space.

Conducting in-depth research on comparable rental rates in the surrounding area can significantly increase the chances of finding affordable housing options. Opting for a smaller apartment or exploring a more cost-effective neighbourhood can effectively lower rent payments.

Houses situated further from the main roads often offer lower rental rates, making them a viable option for those who prioritise tranquillity and are willing to commute for essential services.


Individuals can effectively manage their grocery expenses by planning their meals for the week and creating a grocery list based on their plans. This approach helps to avoid impulse purchases and food waste, ensuring that only essential items are bought.

When the means to store them are available, non-perishable items can be purchased in bulk. This strategy can significantly reduce overall grocery expenses by about Tk 1,000 per month, as larger quantities often come with lower unit prices.

Generic or store-brand products often offer the same quality as name brands at a lower price. Individuals can make informed choices by comparing the ingredients and nutritional information of generic and name-brand products.


Regular commuters can potentially save a significant amount of money by opting for public transportation such as buses or the metro rail. Additionally, living closer to the workplace can significantly reduce commuting time and associated costs.

For shorter commutes, cycling or walking is advisable. These eco-friendly modes of transportation not only reduce commuting costs but also provide opportunities for physical activity and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

While public transports take longer, using them can save up to Tk 2,000 per month compared to using ride-sharing options such as Uber or Pathao.

Utility bills

Implementing energy-saving measures at home can effectively reduce utility bills. This includes switching to LED lights and utilising energy-efficient appliances.

Unused electronics and appliances continue to draw power even when turned off, leading to phantom energy consumption. Unplugging these devices when not in use can significantly reduce electricity usage.

During the day, maximise natural light by opening curtains and blinds to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. This simple step can significantly reduce electricity consumption.


Individuals can seek out free or low-cost entertainment options in their area, such as visiting parks, museums and libraries, or attending community events. These activities can provide enjoyable recreational experiences without significant financial strain.

Organising game nights or movie nights at home with friends or family can provide enjoyable and cost-effective entertainment options. These activities allow individuals to socialise, engage in shared activities and create lasting memories without incurring significant expenses.

Attending local art exhibitions, theatre performances or music concerts at affordable venues can be a rewarding way to connect with the local arts scene and support emerging talents. These events often offer unique and enriching experiences at a lower cost compared to larger, more mainstream productions.


Exploring thrift stores or online marketplaces can provide access to gently used clothing at a fraction of the original price. These second-hand options offer a sustainable and cost-effective way to expand one's wardrobe.

Learning basic sewing skills can empower individuals to mend or repair clothing items, extending their lifespan and reducing the need for frequent replacements. Simple repairs, such as reattaching buttons or mending torn seams, can significantly extend the wearability of clothing, saving money in the long run.

Investing in a few high-quality, versatile pieces can form the foundation of a well-rounded wardrobe. These essential items can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits, reducing the need for excessive clothing purchases and promoting a more sustainable approach to fashion.


Prioritising preventive care, such as regular check-ups, screenings and vaccinations, can reduce the risk of developing health problems in the long run. Detecting and addressing potential health issues early on potentially prevents more serious and expensive complications down the road.

For non-emergency services or out-of-pocket expenses comparing healthcare services and negotiating medical bills can potentially reduce costs.

While many prefer private clinics for better services, government hospitals are a valuable resource for individuals seeking accessible and cost-effective healthcare.

Health insurance plans often go overlooked. However, planning early on for insurance that aligns with one's specific needs and budget can be a major cost saver in the long run.

Fulfilling life within means

Budgeting is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each individual's circumstances and priorities will vary, and the strategies that work for one person may not be suitable for another.

The key is to find a budgeting method that works best for the individual and to regularly review and adjust the budget as needs and circumstances change.

Navigating financial constraints in a dynamic city like Dhaka requires a commitment to financial discipline, adaptability, and a willingness to explore unconventional solutions.

However, with careful planning and strategic choices, it is possible to effectively manage finances, achieve financial stability, and ultimately, live a fulfilling life within means.

Budgeting is not about depriving oneself of necessities or pleasures; it is about making conscious choices that align with one's priorities and values.