While that first Student Loan instalment can look like a lot, we're sure you've soon realised just how long you need to make your money last and suddenly ... you're on a budget...
Managing your own money for the first time isn't easy, but these handy tips may make things a bit easier:
- List your incomings and outgoings: and then ask yourself - Can I afford luxuries? Yep, that does include nights out and eating in restaurants! Set a spending goal for each week and try not to go over it. There are loads of free budgeting apps to help so there really is no excuse.
- Write a shopping list: Most of your money can easily be wasted on food so plan your weekly meals so that you only buy what you need. Perhaps plan to cook communally too to split the cost and no matter what, never do a food shop on an empty stomach!
- Re-use and Recycle. 500ml of water is definitely not worth £1 anymore, and why buy a coffee when you can just make your own?
- Check your statement: once a week put aside 5 minutes and check your statement just so you don't have any surprises at the end of the month. With mobile banking, there's no excuse, and it's better to know sooner rather than later and get stuck with loads of charges.
- Flash your ID: whenever (and wherever!) you go shopping take your student card with you to get that all important student discount. Keep an eye on this handy list of where does Student Discount and always ask in store - some shops have it even if it's not advertised so it's worth asking about
- Look out for offers and make the most of them - a lot of shops have loyalty cards where points can pay off and will do flash sales too. Sign up to sites like studentbeans and UniDays to get alerts.
- Save money on travel: make sure you get your bus pass from the Guild and don't forget your Young Person's railcard. They're investments but will seriously cut down travel costs!
Struggling with Money?
Talk to someone. The Uni Money Advice Team offer a specialist debt advice service for students experiencing financial difficulties. If you are worrying about your debts, or just managing your money in general, then they they can offer the following services:
- negotiate with creditors on your behalf
- advise you on personal budgeting
- refer you to other services that can help you
Find out their opening hours and how to contact them here.