Budgeting at university: so you can pay your bills, but still have money for fun! Kay Barrett talks about how to manage your money from experience.
Budgeting at university
This means being able to live off the money you receive from Student Finance or from any other source of income and it is one of the most important things when you start university.
A great way to manage your money so that it lasts you throughout each term is to firstly calculate the rent. Once this is done, you can then work out from what you have left over, what will go on food shopping, household stuff, clothes and other student necessities, e.g. blackcurrant to mix with your cider.
Budgeting is a brilliant way to start and working out a reasonable amount you want to spend on food shopping a week should come first. Then you’ll want to save money for household needs, so toilet roll, washing up liquid, soap, toilet cleaner etc. If you’re living with others, the best thing to do is to take it in turns on who’s buying what and when.
This way, you’re all making an equal amount of effort towards the house/accommodation.
Other money tips for students
When going food shopping, hit the supermarkets you know do good deals and have decent prices for their products. I’d advise going to supermarkets you know have awesome BOGOF deals, can’t beat buying a packet of chocolate biscuits and getting an extra packet FOR FREE! (Nom, nom, nom!).
Now to the more exciting part of spending your money, clothes! Yes, we all need a cheeky shopping spree from time to time. Maybe not every week though, don’t want to go too mad. However everyone needs some good ol’ retail therapy, it just has to be done!
A part-time job is a great chance to earn more money. A weekend job would be ideal, at least then you have the week to focus on uni work and everyone knows student nights fall on weekdays anyway, so the job wouldn’t get in the way of a little light partying.
Not everyone gets a student grant and for those who do, the payments still might not cover your needs.
It’s a popular choice to get a student account at your local bank, it’s all very easy to set up, and won’t take you longer than half an hour. You’ll be set up with an overdraft, which commonly start at £500 for the first term, but it can be raised as you go further into your studies.
Having the overdraft is a safety net. If you can manage your money well, you may not even have to go into it. YAY! The comfort is there though just in case.
You should also look into bursaries that your university may offer. Bursaries tend to come in three instalments, however different universities may have a different system.
The payments go directly to the student and you do not pay it back (can’t complain about that now can you?) Hopefully you’ve gotten some helpful tips on how to handle your money. If you’re ever in doubt on any payments you feel you’re entitled to, don’t hesitate to get in contact with your university’s admission team.
Someone within your uni will always be available to answer any queries you may have, don’t hesitate to ask, and most of all enjoy it while you can.