University Series #5 – Budgeting

Starting University can be pretty daunting but for the majority of people it is the best time of their lives. As long as you plan and arrange everything you need to do, you’ll be fine, and this particular post is going to help you along the way. As well as everything you need to take with you (read my post on this here) you will need to sort things out like money, travel, accommodation etc.

At this point, the majority of students going to university will already be there, or will be starting in the next week or so, so it’s likely you already have your student finance sorted out. If so, it would be useful to open a student bank account with a branch nearby to where you are living. Be sure to check out a range of student accounts as they all offer different benefits. You may also need to travel home from university at holidays such as Christmas and Easter, and if this involves a train, plane or coach, be sure to book in advance and you will save a good amount of money! 

Each month you should budget your money. Note down your income (how much money you receive from your student loan per month, and any money from a part time job, benefits or savings). You can then work out how much you plan to spend on rent, food, anything you may need for university (clothes, petrol etc). Deduct this amount from your income and you will see how much you have left to spend on whatever you like. If you find out you plan on spending more than you have (too much month at the end of the money!), you need to work out what to cut down on.

Here are some money saving tips on food, socialising and study expenses:

  • When cooking food, make more than you can eat and freeze it. This will keep in the the freezer and can be used for more meals later on.
  • Buy own brands from supermarkets and sign up for loyalty schemes.
  • Make a list of food you need and stick to it.
  • Look out for bargains on fresh food at the end of each day – they can’t sell fresh bread for example a day after it was baked.
  • Look out for student discounts if out with friends in places like the cinema for example.
  • Find out when your favourite clubs have student nights for cheaper entry and cheaper drinks!
  • Only take a certain amount of money out so you aren’t tempted to spend more than you can afford to.
  • When purchasing study material, find out what is essential so you don’t waste money on materials you don’t need.
  • Ask older students on the same course what books they needed.
  • Look on Ebay or buy them second hand so that they will be cheaper.
  • Borrow from the library if you don’t need the whole book.
  • When doing laundry, try and do one big wash instead of several little ones throughout the week.
  • At your Freshers Fair companies may be handing out freebies or discounts, so try and get hold of as many as possible.
  • If you’re living in halls, why not do one big shop with your flatmates? That way you can all put to some money as it would work out cheaper buying in bulk.

If you have any tips you want to share, please leave them in the comments below! I hope this post have helped you and thank you for reading,

Amy x

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