Our money personality quiz may be a light-hearted way of looking at how our personality might affect our attitudes to money and spending, but now you’ve got the results you can start to recognise how certain situations can trigger a reaction and how you can break bad habits and make positive changes. This means planning for the long-term and not just living in the moment.
Managing your money as effectively as possible relies on 3 key elements –
1. Understanding what you have coming in
• Do you know what your financial entitlement is?
• Do you know how much you receive and when – termly, monthly, bi-annually?
• If its means tested (based on your/your family’s income) do you know how to check it is correct?
• Make sure you are receiving the maximum statutory funding you are entitled to – student loan, grant, NHS bursary, TDA bursary
• Make sure you’ve accessed all the extra entitlements if applicable – interest free student overdraft, childcare vouchers, Council Tax discounts, tax rebates, welfare benefits
2. Understanding your spending and what the priorities are
• What are your housing costs and how long is your tenancy?
• How much do you need to set aside for utilities, tv license etc?
• Are you getting the best deal on phone, tv, broadband?
• Familiarise yourself with payment dates for essential extras eg childcare costs.
3. Having realistic expectations
• Try to manage your lifestyle to match your budget
• Increase your income by working part-time during the term or over the holidays.
• Try to pay off your student overdraft before the next academic year as this will mean you’ve got a new safety net for emergencies.
• Spread the cost of the basics – paying for bills by direct debit is often cheaper, and make sure you reclaim for any unused tv licenses over the summer.
• Can you make any reductions to travel costs, toiletries and stick to a list when you’re doing the weekly food shop?
• Review your social spending and remember that your friends may have different budgets.
• Make the most of student offers and discounts.
• Have you got any unusual circumstances? You may be eligible for additional hardship funds from the university or other benevolent funds
A good start to understanding where your money goes is to keep a diary of what you spend in a typical week. Then you can compare this against your last bank statement. You’ll be surprised by the hidden extras
If you want any help, advice or information, just ask.
By all means talk to friends, family and fellow students, but remember that everyone has different circumstances.
If you are particularly struggling with managing your money or perhaps you have credit/store card debt, don’t wait until things get worse, seek help NOW from the Student Advice Service in Student Services.
The Student Advice Service http://bit.ly/ContactSAS provides financial support and advice to students at each campus. Often this will involve an Adviser helping you to assess your financial situation, to offer budgeting advice and to see if you are eligible for further support or funding. The team is separate from your academic department and all information is treated confidentially.