Friday, 8 September 2017

SOS: Living On A Student Budget

THE UNIVERSITY SERIES || Part 3

No doubt this will hopefully be a saviour to anyone needing budgeting tips and bringing back down to reality about living and coping on a student budget. Here's the obvious... Student life= tight budget, we all get it.


Those who don't go to uni and think we can manage on just our student maintenance loan are well and truly wrong. And even I was in that mindset before I moved away as trust me when you're initially set off to uni whilst money is certainly not a priority. Personally, my brain was more focused that I was about to go move to a city, and into a building with hundreds of people I'd never met. It soon hit me I needed to get my spending under control (I love shopping what can I say)but once I did, I noticed a huge decrease unnecessary stress.

I'd decided that in the first year I needed to settle into a new city, make friends and focus on my studies and the last thing I wanted was to be stressing about a new job. I figured I could survive off of my student loan and savings... Which I successfully managed on a budget, however, the second year is here and I am already job hunting and applying to help see me through the year and means I can save for little luxuries and even the odd festival or holiday.

If I had advice for any first year it's to not blow all your money in freshers and actually attempt to budget, it may be difficult but it all pays off when you're not maxing out your overdraft or begging parents for money for food. 



These are the things that helped me get on track with money and will hopefully help you all too:

Set a budget and be strict. Find out what works for you- work out how much you'll get each semester and then how many weeks it has to last. Many have two accounts and transfer the weekly amount each Monday and then once that money was gone that week, it was gone. Always have an emergency stash you can access for spontaneous adventures or purchases, but try and keep as close to your budget as possible.

Cook at home! Which means not being able to order takeaways or eating out because it is easier and you don't have to make any effort cooking or doing the dishes. BUT it gets expensive. Find fun recipes and try new things at home. The worst is when you're hungover and all you want is a Dominos but your bank account just won't let you - I am doing a cook/foodie uni post soon so keep your eyes peeled!

Use coupons and discount cards! There are so many student-friendly deals, take advantage of them (ahem, the NUS card or Unidays). Trust me 10% off here, 25% off there- makes all the savings add up! If you're anywhere and you're unsure if they do student discount just ask and always carry your uni ID as you never know when that can get you 10% off in TopShop when you fall in love with a cute top or pair of heels you can't resist. 

Use your what your uni has to offer. Most universities or colleges offer things like cheaper gym memberships, societies, fun activities and discounts on various night club deals or restaurants. These can dramatically cut your costs- take all the free/ discounted stuff you can!

Sharing is caring! For myself, I know this is a common thing but make the most of your flat mates if they have a similar style. Say you want to borrow a dress of theirs for a night out or date you've got coming up. Simply trade off, do swaps and share clothes plus no one needs to know it was your best gal friend from your flat who's skirt or fur coat you're wearing.

I know this was very detailed and you may be wanting to pull your eyes out of their sockets or it may have helped either way. I love uni and whilst I would love a lot more money, I really wouldn't change it for anything. I guess they say it is all about the experience.


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