Oh the overdraft… aka a students BFF and life saver so that we can manage to feed ourselves, pay our rent, and have a little drunken night out every now and then. With the start of the university year coming into play we all open our bank accounts and go ‘EFF YEAH I AM RICH’. The moment that student loan drops into your bank account is one of the best feelings – trust me. You get that notification on the uni group chat at like 12AM and you know. You KNOW its happened. And I know most thoughts go straight to ASOS. Don’t even try to deny it. However much we all love a good shop when we get our loans through, if you spend it all at once we are putting ourselves in a sticky situation for the rest of the year.
I feel like a proper oldie talking about budgeting but we don’t want to be eating 67p noodle for the rest of the term. When you are in first year at university you are very oblivious to the expenses you will have to pay through the whole year. You can already tell that everyone on my course is very aware of this because this year for freshers most of us are working during it not going out partying. Oh how times change… I will not miss that freshers flu though. The first semester at uni was the most expensive. You have to pay out for software, stationary, transport… basically everything that will get you through the year.
So I am going to dish out a bit of budgeting advice to help cope with the expenses during university. And hey this might be the blog post where I actually take my own advice! Depending on how many McDonalds lunch trips that happen…
To spend money you need to know how much money you have right? As boring as it sounds the best way to do this is just track how much money you have coming in and out of your bank accounts each month. I just updated a numbers spread sheet that I made each month to make sure I know what money I have coming in, and what money I have spent, and what money I can put into savings. The more you get into this, the better you will be at spending your money wisely. And it is just good practice for the future.
I don’t live in rented accommodation for university, and if you don’t either then this doesn’t really apply. But if you are then you know you have to be able to pay your rent, and food and of course coffee. Things like TV licenses, phone bills, and subscriptions are all things that HAVE to be paid. So setting aside the money for that means you won’t be in the situ where you can’t.
Yes a student loan gives you a little bit of income every now and then. But its not an endless pocket of cash that keeps rolling. You won’t be able to do everything and anything. If you have to cancel classes, or miss out on that night out then it has to be done. Find cheaper alternative to those black boots you have been dreaming about. Have a coffee at home rather than making a pit stop at Starbucks. Also there are so many deals that you can get your hands on. One for coffee lovers is that often coffee shops will sell a reusable mug for like £15 and then you get free coffee refills for the rest of the year. I know the restaurant next door to my uni does this and I am already BUZZING about it.
Lets be real. You can’t cut everything out of your spending habit. We have to have some sort of a social life as a student. But if you are out shopping for that new top you saw on Instagram, or if you want two sides at Nando’s not one, just ask yourself do you really need it.
ISN’T ADULTING FUN….
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