Managing money as a student can be tough. It might be your first taste of freedom away from home, yet also your first time managing a budget. With all that temptation comes a need to get savvy – especially given the average first year student spends over £2,000 before they even get there.
That’s nothing to say you can’t become a master of your money while enjoying yourself along the way, however. We’ve highlighted some of the key financial topics as well as money management tips for students to study below.
Take stock of your income
Knowing how much income you’ll have each term is essential to making your money last. That includes your student loan and any grants you’ll be receiving, as well as cash from parents.
Your student loan will usually land in your bank account at the start of each term, so remember each instalment will be designed to last at least three months.
Wise up to your outgoings
From mobile phone bills to rent and utility bills, there are a few areas in which it’s easy for students to overspend. If you’re getting a phone contract in your name and don’t need every last call, text and gigabyte available for example, modern pay-as-you-go bundles can be great value.
When it comes to rent, it pays to get clued up – especially when renting privately. Most students have at least one utility bill included in their monthly total. But while inclusive bills might be convenient, it’s still best to ask for a breakdown.
Create (and stick to) a realistic budget
Next on the agenda is creating a liveable budget. As well as the essentials described above, you’ll need to factor in costs like weekly food shops, transport, study materials and socialising.
Doing this sooner rather than later will help you decide if you need to boost your income by taking on part-time work. Tracking your spending with a mobile banking app is then one way to stay on track.
Money Management Tips for Students: Take advantage of a student bank account
There are many ways to manage your money as a young adult. Student bank accounts can be a great option at this stage in life as lots offer perks like interest-free overdrafts and discounted train travel.
You’ll usually need to have an unconditional offer to open one though – or a conditional offer with A-level results that match them. Make sure to shop around too.
Make the most of student deals
Student discounts are widespread and there are various schemes like NUS Extra to help you find and make the most of them. But as well as money off at high-street retailers, you could also save money on travel and food.
16-25 Railcards will get you 1/3 off most train tickets, while many cafes and restaurants offer student deals to tempt young people in at lunchtime.
University could be your most rewarding experience yet. Be sure to manage your money effectively and make sure it doesn’t come at too high a cost.
These are some of the money management tips for students that they can use.