by Student Money Service
70% of students say they want to be clued up on money before starting uni. So here we share some tips so you can manage your money instead of it managing you.
Create a budget
First of all, figure how much money you have coming in – from your student loan, part-time job etc. Then figure out how much is going out.
Once you’ve worked out the essentials like rent, bills, course materials, food and travel, you can turn your attention to non-essentials like eating out and entertainment. What’s important to you? Budget your non-essential spending around that. Create a budget around what really matters to you, being realistic with the money you have!
Consider opening a second bank account
This may be the first time you’ve been in control of your finances, and if you’re eligible for a student loan, then you’ll get a lump sum once a term – and the temptation is to blow it! To help make your money last the term it’s for, consider opening a second bank account to pay your student loan into (and salary too). From there you can set up a standing order to your current account to pay yourself what you need each month. This could help you manage the big chunk of cash from the Student Loan Company (SLC) coming in each term.
Get a part-time job
Lots of students get part-time jobs to help make ends meet. As well as boosting your income it’s a great way to get some work experience for your CV. But whilst it might be tempting to take on all the hours you can get for extra money, try to find something that’s less than 16 hours a week so that your academic work doesn’t suffer. The Students’ Union at UWE have their very own JobShop where they advertise part-time jobs on campus and around Bristol.
Don’t eat away your money
Eating out and takeouts are pricy! See them as a treat rather than the norm.
Write a shopping list before going out rather than just buying what catches your eye – and don’t shop when you’re hungry, otherwise everything will look good! Try to cook and eat with your housemates when you can to save money (and washing up). Consider bulk cooking – perhaps doing a big batch of pasta so you have something for the next day.
Review your budget
The amount you pay for things can go up and down over the year. Make a note to review and tweak your budget each term.
Capitalise on all the savings
Now you’re a student you get to take advantage of loads of discounts. Get into the habit of asking wherever you go – sometimes student discounts aren’t advertised so it’s good to ask or just pop your TOTUM card down on the counter and see what they say!
Ask for help
If you can’t figure out a budget that works for you, don’t worry – we’re here to help. Ask for help before you find yourself in a pickle.
Useful websites to take things further:
Blackbullion – money modules and detailed advice
Save the Student – good advice and weekly cheat sheets
Money Saving Expert – loads of tips for uni and everyday life
Student Beans – student discount codes