Hello again! This month we’ll be discussing student money management. Learning how to budget can be one of the hardest things about moving away for university but it’s essential to get the hang of it, sooner rather than later! If you don’t pick it up, it can lead to many issues later on in your university life!
Now, that intro may have sounded a bit tense, but honestly its best to not stress too much about money. You can still have fun at uni on a budget and you’re at university to have a good time after all (and to get a degree I suppose).
Some simple advice is to make sure you plan ahead and try not to rely on your overdraft too much. Once you’ve maxed it out, it’s hard to get back out of it so save your overdraft as an emergency back up and only go into it if you need to – not because ASOS have a sale and you need new clothes for going out. Similarly, don’t rely on borrowing from your parents too much! You’ve gained independence by moving out so sorting your finances is something you need to do by yourself. If you need some help with budgeting, you can think of things like; what kind of meals are you going to be having and can you buy any of the ingredients in bulk? Also look for offers such as ‘buy one get one free’ and use vouchers/coupons as much as you can!
The obvious time you’re going to overspend is freshers, I recommend only taking cash with you on these nights out and leave your card at home. It’s a lot easier to be in control of what you’re spending if you’re physically handing over money and often clubs have card limits which means you end up spending more than you want to. This is something you can continue to do throughout the rest of your time at university to help you save a bit of money.
Make sure you keep an eye on your spending. Luckily, thanks to mobile banking, you can keep tabs on this wherever you are using your phone! You can see where most of your money is going and make adjustments (limit those cheeky Nandos’). You can also see how much you’re spending each week, so you know if you’re going over budget or not. If you feel like you’re spending far too much, you can think of ways to cut back – like buying second hand instead of buying new all the time. This works especially well with course text books as you can get them pre-owned for half the price!
Most Importantly, you’ll need to budget around your accommodation costs! This is where you’ll really benefit from being a Unilife student. Unilife make budgeting simple and hassle free by offering payment plans to suit everyone! You can pay in full before your arrival, with a 2% discount with this option, or you can pay monthly or termly with your rent payments matching up with your student finance payments! However, the biggest benefit of living with Unilife is that everything is covered under one bill and all costs are taken care of in your rent! If you want to know more, you can check out all the things that are included in your rent by clicking here!
So, to summarise – when it comes to student money management don’t stress, but don’t ignore your finances! Just monitor and budget.