Budgeting might not be the coolest or most exciting thing when you get to uni, but it certainly is important and could help you to really make the most out of the entire term. You might feel flush when the student loan is paid into your account at the start of term, but after a few big nights out or shopping trips, you might suddenly find yourself strapped for cash towards the end of term and struggling to get by. Almost 80% of students worry about making ends meet, so here are a few budgeting tips that will hopefully be useful and help you to manage.
Work Out Your Essential Spending
First, you need to work out what your essential spending is over the term. This will include rent, utilities, groceries, transport and any other bills. Deduct this from the money that you have which will give you an idea of how much you can afford on non-essential spending.
Estimate Non-Essential Spending
You should then try to estimate non-essential spending, which will include nights out, takeaways, hobbies, gym memberships etc. Divide the amount that you have left over from essential spending over the number of weeks in the term to give you an idea of how much you can afford on non-essential spending each week.
Find Ways To Cut Your Costs
You might find that what you are left with is not much at all, but the good news is that there are all kinds of ways that you can make savings on essential and non-essential spending. A few of the best ideas include:
- Shopping at a cheap supermarket and buying non-brand
- Cooking meals from scratch
- Cooking for each other as a household
- Take advantage of student discounts
- Have drinks at home before going out
- Make lunch at home
- Walk/cycle where possible
If you are struggling to make ends meet or there are times where you may need to go over budget (such as a birthday or trip back home) then a short-term student loan could be smart. Extra student loans can give you a healthy bump in your finances until the next student loan payment comes in and you can usually get approved on the same day.
Other Income Streams
You could also look into other income streams to boost your finances. You should be careful when looking at taking on a job as you will not want it to interfere with studies, but a flexible part-time job or online work could help.
Hopefully, these financial tips will help you to manage your budget effectively as a student and not have to worry about money so much so that you can really make the most out of this special experience.