Managing finances effectively nowadays, when the cost of living is higher than ever and continues to rise, has become a crucial skill for everyone, especially students. Balancing tuition fees, accommodation costs, and daily expenses can be challenging. Still, with careful planning and thoughtful strategies, anyone can manage their finances with confidence. Here are some valuable tips to help you manage your money in the face of the escalating cost of living.
1. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is the starting point of effective money management. Download our budget template, fill in all the fields, and track income and expenses! This way, you can clearly understand your financial situation and identify areas where you can cut back.
2. Explore Student Discounts
Many businesses offer discounts to students. Check student discount sites such as Totum, Unidays and Student Beans
Scan the QR codes from the iCentre desks and apply for students' Oyster Card Discount or save 1/3 on your train journeys. Always carry a valid student ID or download the myARUL App on your smartphone and inquire businesses about available discounts. These offers can significantly reduce expenses and make your student life more enjoyable.
3. Know what Student Finance you are eligible for
Ensure you're getting all the student finance support you're entitled to by exploring the Finance Department tab on the VLE platform. You can also set up a meeting with the university's finance team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are struggling with any financial difficulties caused by the rising cost of living, do not hesitate to book an appointment with one of the Students' Union advisers at Advice (angliastudent.com). The SU advice team can support ARUL students with welfare concerns, such as food vouchers, and direct them to external organisations that can offer specific assistance tailored to their needs.
4. Prioritise Needs Over Wants
While university life offers opportunities for socialising and entertainment, it's essential to prioritise needs over wants. Rewarding yourself whenever you feel you have met a goal, completed a project well, or simply you feel that you have tried your hardest on a task gives you a mental break and will motivate you the further university tasks. However, it is always best to prioritise your spending to make sure you have everything you need, save a little for rainy days, but also keep finances in check.
5. Cook at Home
Eating out frequently can be a significant drain on finances. Preparing meals at home is cost-effective and allows for healthier eating. Consider meal prepping to save time and money, and limit dining out to special occasions.
6. Explore Part-Time Employment
A part-time job can provide additional income to cover expenses or contribute to savings. The university often offers on-campus job opportunities that can be conveniently integrated into your student's schedule. Ask one of the iCentre team members about roles, or email email@example.com and explore job availabilities.
7. Stick to your Plan
University life sometimes involves social pressures to spend money on events, outings, or experiences. Staying true to your budget and financial goals is essential, so make sure you allow yourself money to have fun while at university but do your best to stick to your plan. An easy way to enjoy your student life without compromising your budget is to join events organised by the Students' Union by regularly checking the SU website www.angliastudent.com/london
Applying these techniques to manage your finances wisely will help you succeed academically and set you on a path to financial success beyond graduation.