With Christmas rapidly approaching and your student loan speedily shrinking, you may well be considering your relationship with money. Although your loan is primarily there for supporting you during your time at University there are occasions when a little indulgence can lead to your bank account getting drained, leading to many of us feeling the pinch.
The easiest way to avoid feeling strapped for cash is, as boring as it may sound, to budget! Here are a few tips for setting up and sticking to a student budget:
1 – First of all work out exactly what you have coming in to your account, taking into account your loan, grants, any money from parents or family and any additional regular income.
2 – Find out what you are paying for your rent, utilities and any other additional bills. Once you’ve done that you have two options. Option 1 (for those amongst us with self control) you can make a mental note of what needs to be set aside for each week or month, dependent on your budgeting, and simply stick to that. Or, option 2 (for those of us who can’t put that bank card down) you might consider setting up a separate bank account to hold your rent etc…
3 – Budget your weekly food shopping making sure the majority of what you buy is strictly controlled, for more information on this click here.
4 – Put a weekly cap on your indulgences, be it takeaways, nights out, alcohol, clothes etc… Just make sure you stick to your cap as otherwise you may find yourself on a very slippery spending slope!
5 – For all the party animals out there, my advice is don’t take your card out as it can lead to very horrible things happening!
6 – Lastly, check out what your bank offers in the way of account management. With most, if not all, bank accounts now boasting a range of features from text message alerts to managing your overdraft. By simply having a text message to alert you to when you fall below a certain balance, can knock you back into the reality of your spending.
Good luck with all your student budgeting.