For the majority, when you start university it’s the first time you’ve lived independently. The responsibility is now in your hands. And that means money and how you spend it. From food shopping to clothes washing and bills to going out with friends, there’s a lot of activities you need to budget for, and it can feel overwhelming to work out how.
So here’s what students said really helped them as they got used to managing their own money,
“Be in the know”
Firstly, figure out how much you can get. So find out how much will your loan be then look at any other streams of income such as parents, sponsorships from work etc. There are a lot of scholarships, hardship funds etc both through universities and charities and a bit of research can make a really big difference.
“Work out your weekly budget”
Once you know how much money you’ll have each term, it’s time to start plotting how much money you have each week so you’ll know how much you have to spend on food, drinks, washing, socialising.
“Use cash – leave your card at home”
If things are really tight, then to make sure you don’t spend more than what you’ve planned only take out the budgeted amount in cash, that way you remove the urge to overspend.
“Get a job”
A part-time job can help put more money in your pocket and there are usually lots of ways to earn a bit of extra cash on campus, for example by taking part in focus groups or becoming a student rep.
“Do a weekly food shop”
Plan your meals for the week and go food shopping once a week so you can curb the urge to order a takeaway when nothing is in the fridge. And it’s true what they say about not shopping when you’re hungry!
If you batch cook you don’t need to worry about excessive cooking either, just pop it in the microwave to heat up and enjoy!
“ Do you really need to buy it new”
There might a textbook your lecturer has recommended or required for the module but before buying a hardback copy first-hand look for second-hand copies that will be available online or even local bookshops. Or check out noticeboards as finals students sometimes sell their old texts books.
“Ask for help if you need it”
Money troubles is the last thing you need at uni. It’s not easy to budget but if you have a plan and be aware of how much you have and how much you spending then you can spot if you are going over. Most importantly, if you are struggling then ask – there is loads of support out there. For more financial support check out these websites below: