Being a university student is one of the greatest periods of your life. It is the time when you spend most of the time enjoying the city you live in, drinking with your friends and not worrying about anything other than the next deadline.
Although University seems incredible, there is one thing that you may need to be wise with and that is money. For some people, they will receive the maximum amount of money with their student loan and others may receive very little. Whether you are one of those who receive a lot or not, you need to learn the skill of managing your finances. Let’s look at how you can manage your money and not worry about your expenditure in the coming months.
Create A Personal Budget
One of the first things you need to do once you receive your student loan is to understand all of your outgoings. That includes your accommodation, food bills and subscriptions that come out of your bank account every month.
It is believed that the average student spends around £247 per week and in freshers, it almost doubles, reaching £427 per week. Although this sounds great, this can be expensive, and you could get yourself in financial trouble before you receive your next student loan.
Creating a budget planner is a great way to manage your expenses. Write down your consistent outgoings, such as rent, gym, utilities, rent, and anything else you need to pay for. Then, take that away from your student loan and see the money you have remaining. Split this into the number of weeks you have until your next loan and that is the amount you have to spend each week.
Sticking To A Budget
Sticking to a budget is one of the hardest things to master during University. You are either good at it or you are horrendous at it. Move money around different pots to ensure you don’t spend too much. Furthermore, have an emergency backup in case any unexpected expenses come up. A good emergency backup will be an interest-free overdraft you can get because you are a student.
We also advise you to pay your essential bills upfront because you know how much money you have remaining. That includes rent, food, travel to and from University and any educational books you may require for the year.
Another top tip when sticking to a budget is sticking to a shopping list. You should have allocated money you spend per week on food. If you want to stick to that budget, ensure you stick to the shopping list so you don’t overspend for that week. Additionally, you can shop around different shops to find the best deals and offers for your shopping.
Finally, you want to track your spending. There are many different apps that you can use that alert you on how much you have left in the bank. Emma is one of those budgeting apps that alert you every morning to let you know how much you have spent. If you went on a night out with your friends, this is great for letting you know how much you spent that night.
Reap The Rewards Of Your Student Account
Make the most of your student bank and overdraft account. Furthermore, there are some benefits you can receive when you’re a student. One of those includes a free travel card whilst you are a student.
Travel cards are great because they save a bit of money each month when travelling to and from university. You will be surprised how much money you will save when using the bus or train whilst at university.
There are other discounts you can receive at certain restaurants or even the cinema. All of these are great for saving money, especially if the cinema is something you like to do in your spare time.
There are hundreds of places in the city centre that will offer you a student discount. Plus, they are available both online and in person. If you are looking for the best student discounts, download the app UniDays to see what fashion brands and restaurants you can save money with. You will be surprised to see the number of shops, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, exhibitions, gigs and many more there.
There is no harm in asking if they offer a student discount either. Once you get to the counter with your products, ask them if there is a student discount available for you. However, something to remember is that you must carry your student discount card at all times. If you don’t, you might not be able to get the discount you are looking for.
Get A Job
If you know your student loan doesn’t offer you enough money for the coming semester, we advise you to get a part-time job. Many places in the city centre will be looking to hire you and give you flexible hours around your university timetable. Browse websites such as Indeed to see what they have available in the city that you live in.
Another method is to go into the bars, restaurants and shops and then ask at the counter. Sometimes, people will hire you because you are being proactive and trying your best to get a job.
You don’t need to work too many hours in the week either. Just work enough hours so it pays for a night out or even your next food shop. This additional income that you earn per month will make a lot of difference and benefit you massively whilst you are having the time of your life.
What To Do If You Get Into Trouble Financially
We advise you to speak to someone at your university campus if you get into any trouble financially. They can offer advice on emergency loans, extra funding and other things that may help you with your struggles. Furthermore, they may be able to put you through to experts in legal, well-being and job departments. All of this can be very helpful if you are struggling.
If you have managed to get yourself into debt then they might be able to help you with that as well, depending on the amount of debt that has occurred. They may tell you to seek financial help such as IVA advice and other services that offer help with your debt.
As mentioned earlier, University is one of the best experiences in your life. Nonetheless, there are key skills that you will need to learn along the way and that is managing your finances. Once you learn how to manage your finances, it will benefit you in the long run, including the years after you leave university. Money management is something that you will forever be thankful for.