Student money management – my top tips!
Rent, food, alcohol, books and all the other essentials you need to buy at Uni will all add up on your bank statement and as the lovely sum of money you started with at the beginning of Freshers week has depleted now the only thing you can afford on your shopping list is a packet of pasta and some supermarket own-brand rice. To avoid this situation, it is hugely important to look after your finances as it is a big part of University life and it is something that everyone has to deal with and organise along with their studies. There are many different tricks and tips that my fellow peers and I use when it comes to managing our personal finances and I will talk you through my top tips that I have found most useful since starting University.
Be organised when arranging your student finance
Be organised – this is useful for all aspects of university life but specifically when it comes to managing your money. If you are receiving a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance (which is the most common way that students receive the money they have) it usually comes in three instalments. The first one will be in September, the second in January and the third around April time. These are spread quite far apart so it is important to make sure you do not run out of money before the next instalment is due. To avoid this, write down the dates that you are due to receive the money into a diary or the calendar in your phone.
Create a student friendly budget
In the summertime before you arrive at University (when you have already applied to Student Finance) you will have received a letter showing how much you will be receiving. From this amount you can divide up all the weeks in the academic year and then work out a weekly budget which needs to allow for different costs such as your rent/food etc.
Apply for a student bank account
Get a student bank account – banks usually have lots of good deals to entice students to open their accounts with them. For example, Santander offer a 4-year railcard if you open a student bank account with them and this can help you save lots of money on train journeys, particularly if you go back home regularly or are a commuting student.
Consider working alongside your studies
Get a part time job or become a student ambassador – earning a little bit of money on the side of your studies can really help you feel more confident and allow you to enjoy a treat such as a takeaway or dinner out with friends!
I hope my tips will help you with managing your money as a student but if you ever have any questions always ask for help…your SSGT will be more than happy to ask any questions or worries you have. I also found this UCAS page useful when I was preparing to organise my money.