Whether you’re just starting university this year or returning for another year, making those student budgets last to the end of term can always feel difficult. Research has shown that although nine out of ten students think they can deal with their finances effectively but most spend it all before the end of term. So it’s important to start budgeting early to make the most of your uni experience and still be able to maintain a social life!
Create a budget
First things first, it is absolutely essential in managing your personal finances. Start by getting a list together of all your incomings (wages, savings, loans etc.) and minus your outgoings (rent, utilities, food, travel etc.) and see how much you really have left to spend. This will help you to determine your income and expenses and see where your money is going. It may take several months to match your budget to the exact spending habits. You’ll have to balance learning and earning but be careful not to cut so much out that you don’t have any wiggle room for your social life!
Manage your budget
Budgeting for outgoings should be a given when trying to ensure there is money left at the end of the term, which is not always easy when student loan installments typically come in three stages throughout the year. Although there is a campaign to get this changed to a monthly payment, students have been advised to do it themselves in the meantime. To avoid overspending, you could move your lump sum into another account and send yourself a standing order each week or month so that your money lasts longer.
Open a bank account that you use to pay your expenses and deposit your income. This way you can also help track how much money you have with instant access services such as online banking. Once you have a bank account set-up, you can also securely connect it to the Youtility app. We’ll then identify your home finance providers e.g. energy, water, insurance, mobile, broadband and how much they cost you, so you can stay on top of all your home finances in one ecosystem.
What type of account do you need?
A savings account is an easy way to start accumulating some financial reserves. While a savings account is just as accessible from an ATM as any other account, you might consider designating this a “hands-off” store of funds. With a chequing account, you’ll make deposits that are intended to cover the costs of your daily expenses. Having an overdraft on your account is, in the absence of another cash buffer, a useful feature in case of any emergencies. It will, of course, have to be repaid, and there is a big danger of falling into a large amount of debt and not being able to pay it back when the time comes, which is why students should be careful and do everything in their power to use an overdraft in certain circumstances and do their best to earn additional income to reduce what they owe. Keeping a record of all your transactions will help you know exactly how much money you have in your account. Make sure to check your list of transactions. You may catch mistakes that you made in recording your spending or even a bank mistake.
Watch the house deposit
40% of students lose an average of £164 when they move out of their private rented accommodation, mostly due to failing to leave it clean and tidy. Other students lose out when they don’t sign a detailed inventory on moving in, leaving them open to financial loss if there are disagreements about the contents when they move out. Students must make sure they keep the property in a worthy state so that there’s no reason for their landlord to keep their cash, and be diligent about making a note of the state of the property upon moving in. This is money you will be relying on getting back.
Get the right cover
It is estimated that the average student has possessions worth almost £3,400 when phones, laptops and printers are added up alongside their other belongings. Choosing what to take from home to uni can be nerve-racking. Taking your favourite possessions along with essentials can start to add up to a lot of stuff that’s worth a lot of money. It is vital that students starting uni feel safe in their accommodation and secure in the knowledge that their valuable items are protected.