If you are struggling with money at university, you are not alone! The Guardian reported that in a study of 2,000 students, more than half regularly run out of money after receiving their student loan. In a UK national survey by Save the Student, 70% of students said that they would like to have had a better financial education before university. Send My Bag has put together this blog to give you key budgeting tips for university.
Key to budgeting is knowing what is coming in and out of your bank accounts – all of your expenses, including the money that you spend on a night out with your friends. There are lots of ways to keep track of this, including mobile phone apps like Monzo, Yolt, and Money Dashboard. You can designate an area on the app to each of your expenses, so that you know what is coming out, what for and when. You can also set up budgets and get notifications to let you know how much you have spent and what you have left over.
Second Bank Account
By opening a second bank account, you can drip feed money from your original account into this one so that you won’t be tempted to spend it all at once. You could have one account for all of your bills, and have another for your weekly spend on more fun things. Monzo is a great second account, as you can easily transfer money between the two accounts, and view what you have left to spend after paying your bills.
Although using cash is almost becoming an old-fashioned way of spending money nowadays, it can be used as a great way to budget your money. If you work out how much money you have to spend for the week, take this money out of your account and use this cash only, you can train yourself to only spend this amount, and no more. The hardest challenge with this is ignoring the temptation of bringing your debit card on a night out and buying a round of drinks for your friends, your friends’ friends, and so on.
Doing the grocery shopping on a whim, guessing the things that you will use or just buying everything you think will be nice isn’t the best idea. You’ll more than likely end up throwing half of it out. It is best to set out a rough plan of what you can make for dinner and what can also be kept as leftovers for lunch, or stored in the freezer to use again. Looking out for meal inspiration on social media is a good place to start. @onepoundmeals on Instagram is one excellent source of inspiration, which we have talked about in our blog on the best Instagram accounts to follow for students.
Deals and Promotions
Take full advantage of student deals and promos available while you can! As well as student discounts available through the likes of UniDays, keep an eye out for other ones that you may not have come across before. For example, check out the Save The Student website and their Instagram account, as they always share the latest deals, and also run competitions and giveaways.
Ask for Support
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for support when you need it – university can be stressful enough with the pressure of studying, and you don’t want to worry about money so much that it affects your performance. Most universities have different resources that you can use, including student support funds which can usually be applied for through the university’s website or by asking staff at your university’s student centre.
Our student shipping service is the best budget choice for sending all of your things to university and back home again at the end of a semester. It is a cheaper and stress-free alternative to carrying your bags with you on your journey to university.
From moving into your student accommodation, to meeting new people, partying, and attending your first lectures and seminars, heading into your first year of university is an exciting time. It’s important to make the most out of this new experience. University doesn’t come with a step-by-step manual, however. It can be a rollercoaster of emotions, experiences, and challenges that you can only take as they come. Nonetheless, taking on tips and recommendations can help. With this in mind, Send My Bag has written this blog containing our top tips for your first year of university.