When you start university, all thoughts of budgeting can get left behind straight away. At Essay Writing Service UK we know how important it is to keep an eye on your spending and avoid tipping into your overdraft. Sitting down and making a plan will give you more time to focus on your studies and social life without money being an issue.
Calculate your income and your bills/rent/tuition fees
Your student income should come primarily from a student loan and possibly a grant. Any other income might be from:
- An allowance your family gives you
- A part-time or holiday job
- Gifts at certain times of the year
Your overdraft should not be included in your income; this is precautionary and you should avoid going into it. Once you know how much your rent, bills and tuition fees will be, minus this figure from your income and make a note of what you’re left with.
Know where your money will go
Work out what you need to spend money on right from the start. Now freshers week is over, your spending should be bit easier on your bank account. Once bills and rent is paid, factor in everything else, estimating costs and prioritising certain things:
- Course Materials/Study Costs: Do you still need to buy course books? Will you have to pay to use the printing facilities? How much will it cost to restock your stationery supply?
- Transport: Can you walk to your university? Will you be travelling from home? Do you need petrol money or public transport fares for tickets? Are you going to travel to see friends/family?
- Food: What kind of diet do you have? Are you willing to buy cheaper/non-branded items? Will you be prone to eating out or going to the take-away?
- Household Items/Toiletries: Is it your turn to buy a new washing up liquid or toilet cleaner? How much will hair care and shower gel products cost? What about cosmetics prices?
- Social Life: How many times do you plan on going out clubbing/to bars in the week? Will you be going to the cinema, gigs or other places of entertainment frequently? Are you likely to go shopping a lot? Do you need money for fancy dress costumes?
- Sports/Societies: Are there any more costs to pay after the initial membership price? Will you need to buy team kit? Are there costs for transportation to matches or events?
Be aware of unexpected costs
It is important to never live just inches from your overdraft. If you are faced with a sudden unexpected cost, consider how you might pay it. Extra course materials, doctor’s fees, emergency travel journeys or birthdays are examples of costs that might happen at any moment. Be money wise and always think ahead.
Look for ways to cut costs
Be a nifty student and shop around before you buy. Some stores will charge more than others so once you know where’s cheapest for certain products use this to your advantage. If there’s a local market it might be cheaper to buy your fruit, vegetables, dairy products and meat there. Or how about shopping online.
Sign up to rewards systems – clubcards and coupon offers are your friends! Student discounts too are offered in many high-street stores and some online retailers now. Your student ID card should allow you to qualify for these. Sign up for Student Beans to get all the latest offers.
Be cautious of certain money traps
Always always always steer clear of cash machines that charge you for withdrawals. If you walk a little further there’s almost definitely a free one to use. If you order items from online, check to see if they have a free postage or collection option.
Keep your accommodation secure at all times by checking windows and doors before you leave the house and at night. Burglaries are particularly common in student areas. It’s definitely a good idea to invest in insurance to cover any valuables such as your laptop, phone or other expensive electric/musical equipment. Endsleigh specialises in student insurance and can tailor a quote to fit you.
Go online and get smart
Banks such as Natwest (who offer a good student account) now have mobile banking apps which help you keep track of your spending whilst you’re on the go. In an age where online banking is the norm, this is the next stage of staying on top of your money.
(via Student Beans)
For any further advice on budgeting please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Essay Writing Service UK. Our advisors have a lot of experience in helping students with many different circumstances. Now you’ve gotten budgeting out the way, don’t stress with your assignments. If you need help planning, writing or checking any of your work, email us today. Learn how to survive your first term at university or check out more helpful articles on our blog.