When you’re at University, one of the main things that you need to think about is how to manage your money. You will no doubt have more than enough stress during term time without money worries adding to that, and this means that it makes a lot of sense to ensure that you get it right from the beginning.
Make a payment diary.
It is vital that you know what money you have, and when you’re getting it. If you have a student loan, then you should write in the dates that each instalment arrives, and how much that particular payment is worth. If you are one of the lucky students who gets weekly or monthly payments from family members, then these can be written in too.
In addition to this, you should ensure that you know when you have to pay things yourself. At University, this might include halls of residence bills or utility bills if you’re privately renting. You should also make sure that you don’t forget any other regular payments, for example phone contracts or subscriptions. It is incredibly easy to forget about such payments if you don’t write them down, and this could get you into trouble in the future.
Split your money into weekly amounts.
If you only get paid termly, and struggle to budget through this time, then it may help to withdraw weekly, in cash, the amount of money that you’re able to spend. You should make sure that you have enough left in your account to cover any payments that you need to make, and then split the rest of the money between each week that you will need it. This means that you’re much less likely to overspend, as you’re able to see the money that you have withdrawn. It is important that you keep a small amount spare for emergencies, as you never know when you may need to buy a textbook or pay for a trip at short notice.
It’s easy to just go into a supermarket and pile your trolley high with the things that you think you might like, however this is not the best thing for you to do if you’re looking after your wallet. You should make meal plans for the week, and this means that you would never buy things that would get wasted. You should also consider buying supermarket’s own brands, as these can be much cheaper but just as nice as the well known branded alternatives. You should also try to bulk buy food whenever you can. An example of this is buying dried pasta or rice. Although you could buy enough for one week relatively cheaply, you may find that it is cheaper per kilogram than buying the smaller bags. If you have the room to store these goods, it is the best way to save cash.
Ultimately, planning is the main thing that you need to do. Although most students will never be able to live the life of luxury, there is a much better chance that you will get through the year if you take the time to be organised.