University is a special time in your life and you will want to make the most out of it. This can be hard to do if you do not have good money management skills, which could make it hard to get by towards the end of term. Students are known to be bad with money, but this does not have to be your experience and smart money management could help you to make the most out of your time at uni.
For many students, this will be their first time away from home. This also means that it is their first time handling major financial responsibilities, which can include rent, bills, food and non-essential spending. Unlike a job where you get paid every month, you will have a lump sum in the form of a student loan and this can make it hard to manage over the course of an entire term. Additionally, there may be pressures to go out and spend money – you should certainly enjoy yourself, but you do need to be sensible with the money.
Create a Budget
The best tip for a student looking to control their finances is to create a termly budget. You need to divide how much money you have to spend by the number of weeks in the term and then deduct essential spending (rent, bills and food). The remaining amount will be how much you can spend on non-essential costs each week, but you may want to try and keep some aside for emergencies as well.
Use a Prepaid Card for Non-Essential Spending
In order to avoid financial difficulties towards the end of term, you will want to avoid dipping into the money that you need for essential spending. This is why it is smart to have a separate, prepaid card loaded with just the amount of money that you can spend on non-essential costs and to take this out with you. This will prevent spending money that you shouldn’t be spending and help you to keep track of your non-essential spending.
Find Ways to Keep Costs Down
You will also want to find ways to keep essential and non-essential spending down to free up funds. There are all kinds of ways that you can do this, such as:
- Switching energy provider
- Shopping at a cheap supermarket
- Buying non brand products and in bulk
- Cooking meals from scratch
- Going without a car
- Making lunch at home
- Socialising at home before/instead of going out
Hopefully, this post will help you to improve your financial management, which in turn should improve your student experience. This is a special time in your life and you will not want to be worrying about how you are going to manage by the end of term, so smart financial management is key.