How I manage my money as a postgraduate student at UWE Bristol.

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By Opeyemi, MSc International Management student.

Our postgraduate student, Opeyemi, tells us how he’s overcome his money worries at university through the wide range of financial support on offer at UWE Bristol. He shares his top tips on how he’s managing his money during his master’s degree. Keep reading to find out more about Opeyemi’s story.

Opeyemi’s story

Hi friends, my name is Opeyemi and I’m a postgraduate student currently studying International Management at UWE Bristol. During my master’s degree, I’ve learned lots of lessons when it comes to managing your money as a postgraduate student.

Financing your studies and university life is a common concern for many postgraduate students. Whether you’re already studying or waiting to start your master’s course, if you’re worried about managing your finances as a postgraduate student, I have some tips to help you.

“Being worried about how to balance your finances is perfectly natural, especially if you’re worried about being able to afford basics like food.”

Postgraduate student loans

Before starting university, I’d recommend applying for a postgraduate student loan. If you’re a UK student, you may be eligible for tuition fee loans and maintenance loans, which cover your living expenses while you study. You can find more information on postgraduate funding on the UWE Bristol website.

Get postgraduate financial support

The most important thing to do is ask questions and do your research. UWE Bristol understand that university life goes far beyond studying and writing exams, so they offer many opportunities on campus to learn about student finance and funding.

Through the UWE Bristol Student Money Service you can seek advice from Money Advisers on how to get postgraduate financial support. All you’ll need to do is complete an InfoHub enquiry form and answer a few questions about your situation, so it’s quick and easy.

Find part-time work

One of my top tips is to find paid part-time work during your postgraduate degree. The modules on my course are flexible, meaning I have time to work alongside my studies. I currently work as a Student Ambassador, Student Content Creator and Future Quest Ambassador at UWE Bristol.

For each of these jobs, I work as a casual worker on zero hours contracts, so I can pick up work when it suits me. The best part is I get paid for doing what I love. All I need to do is accept work invitations, complete my allocated shifts and check my payments have come through on pay day. You can find and apply for part-time roles on the InfoHub website.

Create a budget

Budgeting is a great way to find out how much money you have left to spend on non-essential things each week. By calculating your income and outgoings, you can pace your expenditure. This prevents you spending all your money as soon as you get paid, so you’re not left struggling for cash at the end of the month.

Here are the steps I take to create my weekly budget:

  • Determine how much you can earn during a university term
  • Subtract your essential expenses for the same period
  • Divide that amount by the number of weeks in a term.
  • Then you can spend whatever money is leftover on non-essential costs.

I’ve found the best way to budget is in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Include your income and how much you spend per month on food, clothing, days out, etc., then calculate the amount leftover. It’s also worth factoring in some savings for rainy days. Depending on how much paid work I get each month, I make sure £50 to £200 goes into my savings.

Final thoughts

If you have money worries before or during your postgraduate studies, I hope you’ve found these tips useful. I had the same fear at first, however, learning to manage my money wasn’t as bad as I thought. If I can do it, you can do it too.

“Remember to have fun. Set time and money aside to go shopping, go clubbing, visit the beach and hang out with friends – that’s what your leftover money is for.”

My last tip – don’t worry too much about managing your finances, as worry can stop you from taking positive action to improve your circumstances. Small steps can make a big difference, so if you’re new to budgeting, start small and go from there.

Find out more about postgraduate study at UWE Bristol.

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