So you’re kinda done with your packing, you’re ready to say goodbye to your folks and you’re all set to head off on your incredible uni adventure. The sweet sweet taste of independence is just around the corner.
However (sorry to burst your bubble), despite all the freedom that life after college has to offer, there are some new responsibilities you’ll inevitably have to take on once you’ve flown the nest, one of the biggest being… *cue dramatic pause*…budgeting!!!
We’ve all heard stories of people who’ve blown their student loan in the first week, with the lure of all those numbers chilling in the bank account proving too much for some. But that certainly won’t be your portion in Jesus name! Here are some simple tips to help you become a whizz at handling money during your time at uni.
- Live Within Your Means
The most important thing to remember when it comes to budgeting at uni is to only spend what you have. What really helped me out was giving myself a weekly allowance and trying to stick to it.
This may take some time to get used to at the beginning of uni, but that’s not a problem at all, as long as you don’t make spending excessively a habit.
To get you started, why not make a list of all your sources of income (this could be from a part-time job, grants, bursaries, your parents, or your lovely nan), add them together and use this to come up with a rough figure for how much you’re looking to spend each month, week or even every day.
- An overdraft is not your money (unfortunately)
Overdrafts can seem pretty great. You’re given a chance to get your hands on all this extra money free of interest, it’s every student’s dream, right? However, that money is gonna have to be paid back at some point. If you do choose to take out an overdraft, the trick is to make sure you get one that’s large enough to cover you if you run into some financial trouble, but you don’t want one so large (HSBC offers overdrafts of up to a whopping £3,000) that you end up getting swamped with debt.
Be wise young grasshopper, be wise.
- You’re only a uni student once (unless you’re like me and decide to go back), milk it for all you can!
Being a student has soooo many perks, it’s ridiculous! Some banks offer free railcards, which are great if your uni is a couple of hours away on the train. The UNiDAYS and Student Beans apps have a load of discounts, from money off food to deals on some of your favourite clothes sites. Your student status can even get you money off at the cinema, on Amazon (a great place to find textbooks that are cheaper than your uni bookstores) and Spotify.
And don’t forget that you may be entitled to free money, Google to find out whether you’re eligible for any grants or bursaries. The Scholarship Hub is a great place to start.