Learning how to manage money is a lesson everyone – young and old - is still trying to get to grips with. The rising cost of living certainly doesn’t help. Here are a few practical savings steps to help you manage your money:
- Ask yourself if you want or need an item before purchasing – Spend your money on the stuff you need first and save the 'wants' for special occasions.
- Cut out non-essential purchases – Try to cut down or stop spending money on the everyday money-drainers…we're talking about coffees, cigarettes, takeaways, etc.
- Know what Student Finance you are eligible for – Make sure you're getting all the Student Finance that you're entitled to. Set up a meeting with the university’s Finance team if you are not sure if you are receiving all of your entitlements.
- Set weekly allowances – Give yourself maximum spending limits for your regular outgoings, such as socialising, travel costs or food shopping – and stick to it. If, at the end of the month, you have money left over, you can carry that over to the next month, or put this into savings for a rainy day.
- Take out a set amount of cash – To make it easier to track your daily spending, you can take out money at the start of the week and use that instead of paying by card. If you are using a card such as Monzo or Revolut, you can set up a weekly budget and see exactly what your finances are being spent on.
- Put away money as savings – If you can manage it, transfer some of your income into a savings account at the start of each month. If you make it to the end of the month with cash to spare you can increase the amount you put into savings for longer-term saving purposes.
- Recycle everything – If you're done with something, and it's still usable, sell it on for cash. There are a number of sites you can do this on e.g. Facebook Marketplace, Shpock, Depop (for clothes).
- Get cheaper bills – With the recent increase in the cost of electricity and gas it is more crucial than ever to look around for deals from various suppliers. Do not be afraid to make the switch if you find a cheaper option.
- Plan ahead – This does wonders for your bank balance. Thinking ahead applies to weekly meals, nights out and even the odd occasion when you decide to eat out. Get into the habit of planning what you'll be doing and when, so you can budget accordingly – and do it often!
- Treat yourself now and then – To budget effectively, you don't need to live like a monk 24/7. It's important to still have fun and do the things you love – just plan ahead for splurges so you're never left with any nasty surprises on your bank statement. And take advantage of student discount sites such as Totum, Unidays and Student Beans.
- Be your own person – Don't concern yourself with how much money your friends are making or spending – just stick to your own budget and keep your eyes on the prize. It'll pay off eventually, we promise.
Now that you’ve read through our tips, download our budget template and get started on a financially savvy new you!