Managing your student loan might seem like a simple task but you’ll soon find out it’s a lot harder than it seems. Having a substantial amount of money all in one go can not only seem daunting but exciting at the same time. But hopefully we can help you out.
If you are in halls of residence then you won’t really have to consider factoring in your rent when calculating your budget, as you pay up lump sums every time your loan comes through. Whereas if you are living in a house you will not only need to consider your monthly rent but if your contract doesn’t include bills then you will need to think about that also. Make sure you calculate how much money you will have left over after your rent and bills have been paid so you can budget the rest.
This one may seem like common sense but budgeting is so essential. If you are a first year try and take this advice right from the get go. Whereas if you are a second or third year you will all remember having to eat noodles for a week as you spent your shopping budget the week before. It might help to make a list of everything you are going to need to spend money on and allocate accordingly. This will include things like food shopping, clothes, stationary, nights out, etc.
Now your education must come first as that is the whole reason you are at university so if you need that new laptop or those new books make sure you actually do save up and buy them. However, make sure you also have fun! You’ll need to allocate time in your week to do fun activities with your friends, so make sure you have enough money to do so.
|Everyday activity||Cheaper alternative|
|Cinema||Netflix. Not only will you get the same entertainment but you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home (even in your pjs if you like – we won’t tell anyone).|
|Gym||Outdoor running is a great way of staying fit but we understand that isn’t for everyone. YouTube exercise videos are perfect for working up a sweat whilst saving your money. Top Tip: Why not fill up two water bottles to use as hand weights.|
|Eating out/Take away||Try out your local supermarket’s takeaway alternatives or make something from scratch! You’ll be surprised at how good some alternatives actually are.|
|Nights out||Have pre-drinks at a friends’ house before going to a club. This way you won’t have to buy as many drinks once inside.|
|Heating||Now we all HATE being cold but when you see that electricity and gas bill come through you might think twice about turning the heating on. We recommend purchasing blankets, big jumpers and most importantly fluffy socks – if that still doesn’t do the trick you could always buy a small heater for your room.|
|Food shopping||This one is essential while living at home you might be used to Heinz baked beans, but now you’ll have to get your taste buds adjusted to … wait for it, Tesco value. Yes I said it. One great way to save money is to switch to cheaper alternatives when it comes to food. Shopping with your flat/house mates could also save you a considerable amount of money.|