If you’re getting ready to go to university, it’s likely you’re feeling a huge mix of emotions.
Whether you’re excited, apprehensive, or relaxed about your move, there’s one important element to get right – your finances.
If you know you need to budget but don’t know where to start when it comes to money management, take a look at our top tips below.
Set yourself a budget
The key to being financially healthy as a student is to set yourself a strict spending budget and stick to it. This will stop you splashing more cash than you can afford and make sure your money lasts throughout the semester. The last thing you want is to blow it all too soon and be left with no money!
To work out a budget, look at the money you have coming into your account, such as your student loan. Take off any fixed outgoings like rent or phone bills, then divide the remaining amount by the number of weeks you’ll need it for. This will tell you how much you can realistically spend per week and month.
Get to know your finances
Your big move to university or college may be the first time you’ve lived on your own away from home. It may be the first time you’ve needed to manage your own money, household bills, rent payments and so on.
It’s really important to get to know your finances as you gain independence, to make sure you don’t come up against any problems with cash flow. Take some time to understand your bank account – do you have an overdraft? Are there charges if you exceed it? How often will you get your student loan? By getting to grips with these things you can be in the best place to manage your money.
Seek financial support when you need it
If you’ve maxed out your overdraft and you’re racking up significant charges because of it, it’s time to act. There are plenty of options out there designed to help you when you’re in a tight spot financially. If the bank of mum and dad isn’t an option, there’s financial support such as loans for students that are specifically designed for emergencies.
You’ll need to pay the money back and you’ll be charged interest, but this may be less than what you’d pay in penalties for exceeding your overdraft limit. Check this and all terms and conditions before you make any decisions to ensure you’re making the right choice for you.
By following these top tips, you can make steps towards managing your money well and enjoy your time studying!