Managing your finances can be hard at university as you need to budget your money across a number of weeks – especially if you have a student loan. We’ve put together some useful hints and tips to help you manage your finances:
Receiving your student loan together with any other types of funding can feel as though you have plenty of money, however you need to be conscious of your outgoings. Write down all your incomes and then take off your outgoings such as tuition fees, rent, shopping and other bills. You’ll then be able to see how much you have left every month for going on, clothes, transport and shopping.
A few things to avoid:
1. Going on a shopping spree as soon as your student loan comes in – even if those trainers that you have always wanted are in the sale!
2. Try to avoid going into your overdraft if you can, as this will incur charges
3. Ordering takeaways and eating out regularly, can prove to be costly. Check out our tips on budgeting at mealtimes in our nutrition advice.
If you’re looking to make some extra cash whilst being at university, a part-time job is a great way for you to afford treats as well as boosting your work experience on your CV.
Large cities are full of shops, restaurants and bars that are great for students to work in when you’re not attending your lectures. Do some research on the area near your accommodation or university and find out which places are offering jobs, apply before term starts and give yourself a better chance before other students apply. Most universities have a student employment office than can help you find part-time work too!
It is important to ensure that your working hours fit with your academic requirements. Having a good balance between your working life and your university life will stop you from becoming overwhelmed and falling behind.
· If you are a full-time student living in student accommodation and your other residents are also in full time university of college then you are not required to pay council tax.
· Many companies offer discounts for students if you have an NUS card, so check out Totum providing you a full list of the shops where you’re able to get student discount.
· There are also fantastic offers on student discount sites for food and drink, fashion, technology, beauty and lifestyle. Check out sites such as Unidays and Studentbeans to help you keep within your budget.
Group Buying and Cooking
You and your friends can save money together. Group buying groceries means that nothing goes to waste. Whilst you are in the supermarket lookout for yellow discount labels to grab yourself a bargain. Socialise with friends and cook together. Why not make a night of it? You can freeze leftovers and use them another day too. This does not apply just to groceries, share cleaning products and kitchen appliances.
Getting a bus pass usually offers great discounts for students. Railcards also offer a 1/3 off travel if you are between 16-25. If you need a taxi, remember to share with friends to split the fare and keep costs down. You can purchase a bike, even find a second hand one on Facebook Marketplace, and be at your lectures in no time at all. Most student accommodations have secure bike storage to keep your bike safe. And remember always walk if you can – get your daily steps in!
Finance – External Links
We’ve put together a few useful websites with further advice and tips on budgeting.
1. 50+ tips to stretch your student loan (Money Saving Expert)
2. 83 practical ways to save money (Save the Student)
3. Save money as a student, top ten tips (UCAS)
4. Top 15 money-saving tips for students (The Telegraph)
Make sure to also check out our other wellbeing articles for more information, tips and advice.