Heading off to college or university for the first time can be a really exciting time, but it’s also often the first time that young adults have to be responsible for their own finances. Getting that first student loan payment can make you feel like you’re suddenly very rich. But that money usually has to last you a few months. It has to cover rent, food, nights out, and any other expenses that land on your door. So, it’s important to learn how to budget right from the very beginning. Here are some tips on how to make sure your money lasts and you don’t struggle to make ends meet a few months down the line.
Know your budget
First of all, you need to know exactly how much money you’re going to have coming in and how much you’ll need to pay out so that you can start to work out your budget for things like food and nights out. The amount you receive will be dependent on a few different things, click here to find out more about the different types of student loans available.
Make a record of how much money you’re going to receive and all of the bills you’ll need to pay out of that money. You can do this really quickly and easily by setting up an excel spreadsheet, but a pen and paper work just as well. Just add up all of your income and deduct all of your outgoings, it’s that simple.
Look out for student discounts
Many retailers offer student discounts and these can be really generous. Keep an eye out for offers when you’re out and about as these can save you a lot of money.
Consider cutting out non-essential purchases
OK so being a student is about more than just getting a higher education, it’s also about having fun, meeting new people and becoming independent. But if you start to feel as though money isn’t lasting in the way that you need it to, then it’s time to make some changes. Start by cutting out non-essential purchases. This includes things like alcohol, takeaways, clothes, subscription services etc.
One of the main reasons that students start to struggle with their finances is by spending money without thinking ahead. As tempting as it is to go out every night in your first few weeks and spend money on meals out and alcohol, how will you then manage for the weeks and months ahead?
Start by planning when you’re going to go out, when you want to have a takeaway and even what meals you plan to cook each night. That way, you can plan to make sure you have enough money to cover you without finding you’re all spent up.
Being a student definitely can be the very best time of your life, so don’t let money worries spoil that. Just spend a little time working out your budget and planning your finances, and you’ll set yourself up for a great year ahead.
*This is a collaborative post.