When you think of life as a student, what first springs to mind? Is it the academic element, the thirst for knowledge and learning? Or perhaps it’s the great social life with endless parties? Or what about the expense that’s now involved with going to university? Because student life is full of potential strains and stresses when it comes to money. And for some, it can be the start of a struggle with debt.
From reading lists of books you have to analyse, to transport to get you to and from classes, the costs can start to mount up. And that’s even before you consider tuition fees. That’s why getting an idea of how to handle your finances is an essential part of student life.
To get your financial house in order, it’s time to stop living like a king. And to start with try embracing your inner chef. Takeaways can be expensive, not to mention unhealthy so why not save yourself some cash and learn to cook for yourself. Who knows, you might find another talent. And then there’s food shopping; essential yes, but there’s a big variation in price. So shop around and find the cheapest store, there’s plenty of competition now and it’s a good way to save some extra pennies.
Use cash or debit cards
When you are shopping, use a debit card and avoid credit cards. The reason for this is fairly straight- forward: credit cards charge interest. So while it’s all well and good, shopping til you drop with a huge credit limit, that cash has to be paid back at some point. Plus interest. This will cost you more money in the long run, so try to only use a debit card or cash.
Set A Budget
Try setting yourself a weekly budget and sticking to it. To do this effectively, study how much you spend. Examine your bank statements to see where your spending your money. Look at what are essential spends. This would include things like rent and food. Then there’s those non-essential items. Meals out, clothes and all those other bits and pieces are more luxury spends. How often are you treating yourself? If you’ve only got a certain amount of money to live off you need to be living within this and not going beyond it. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever treat yourself or go out, just know when you can and how much you can afford to spend. And it might be worth looking at only keeping your budgeted amount in your bank account and putting any extra in a savings account. That way you won’t feel tempted to spend it all.
If you’ve got the time, why not get a part-time job. Aside from giving you some much-needed cash, this can also be an opportunity to gain some vital experience, which will lend itself well to when you do graduate. Plus it can also be a good way of meeting people. However, do watch out that the job doesn’t interfere with studying; that is, after all, why you are at university. And don’t forget your student card. If you’re buying something, flashing this card could save you cash, usually around ten percent. So why not have it in your pocket?
And remember, if you do hit financial choppy waters, student help is at hand to help steer you back. Contact student support if you need advice, or there are other organisations out there if you prefer, but don’t struggle on alone. Finally, don’t let debt put you off studying. Try to look at it as another lesson, a life lesson if you like, and passing this could be the one of the best skills you’ll be pick up.