Hia guys! Hope all’s well with your deadlines! Mine are coming from everywhere at the moment, but just about keeping on top of things, thankfully! Now, as we are coming slowly to an end of the spring term, this is when most students start to struggle financially as it’s been about 2 months since they had their last loan, probably spent too much over the last few months, but they will have to wait around another month until they get their next installment. :/ not ideal! Being a student is an expensive business – £11,000 a year on average, according to the government. Fees and rent will use up a lot of it, but with some planning you can have some left over for a social life. So how do you draw up a plan that’s realistic and workable?
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt as a student it is to budget and not waste it all away at once. Of course, treating yourself to those new heels that you’ve been craving for months but couldn’t afford or the odd take-away when you’re up to your neck in revision is fine. But, being tactful with your money could save you so much in the long-run. Here’s a few tips to help you out:
1.Shop as a house
As I have my car in Cardiff, we all go on a little road trip as a house to the big Tesco’s once in a while and buy all of our meat and veg together. This saves a lot on food waste and means more money left in your pockets! Also, raid the reduction shelf!
When my course mates and l go out for the night, we always go to the club or pub that has drink deals on that night. Every club in Cardiff has a night of the week where they have deals on their drinks so take advantage of them, it’s amazing how much you will save!
3.Put pen to paper
Start with a sheet divided into two sections headed Income and Expenses and write down all of your sources of money and all the things you expect to have to shell out for. Don’t forget additional costs like laundry or library charges, alongside rent, food and books. Being aware of how you spend your money can also show you where you could be saving, such as cutting down on coffees or making your own sandwiches. For a guideline the university’s money website has set up a mock up chart of weekly living costs, www.money.glam.ac.uk/fees/livingcosts/
4.Get a discount
Take full advantage of your student card you will receive during Freshers. You can get discounts in various places you use from day to day such as a few clubs and pubs on certain nights, cinema, clothes shops and even at the hairdressers.
5.Turn unneeded things into cash
Amazon is a great place to buy and sell used textbooks. Worth knowing when faced with a £150 reading list. Auction sites like eBay are also good for getting rid of unwanted Christmas presents or old clothes. If not online, use campus noticeboards and bookshops to sell or to buy.
There are many more tips, I could go on forever. Just head onto the money website on the university’s website to find out everything you need to know on budgeting and how to apply for loans and bursaries. But I will leave you with this, my brother started saving his coppers and silvers ever since he got a giant cola bottle shaped piggy bank for christmas when he was 13. The bottle broke last week because it was so full, so he started to count it. It took him 6 hours and by the end he found out that there was £750 all together. Even though that was around 14 years of saving it still shows that every little helps! Just imagine how much you could save doing this for 3 years whilst at uni?
Take care, Sian 🙂