Managing your finances when at university shouldn't be as hard as it can be, and it definitely shouldn't have an impact on your student experience. So we've put together some top tips for making your money last between loan instalments, so you can worry about the important things (like your exams).
Split the cash in a savings account
Calculate what your cost of living is going to be each month, then work out how many months you student loan instalment has to last before the next one. By moving this money into a savings account (which can be opened for free at most banks) you can make sure you have enough money to last the semester. Simply transfer your living costs back into the current account each month. It’s worth taking into account the disposable income you have left over and separating that too, to reduce the temptation to dip into the living cost allowance.
Keep costs down
Avoid subscriptions where necessary, especially for the first few months. Wait a couple of months to see how sustainable your disposable income is to better mange your finances. Things like Xbox live, Netflix and TV packages like Sky might seem attractive, but they're costly. Plus, they sometimes involve contracts that can be difficult to get out of if you realise you can't afford them.
Find additional work
There are plenty of jobs out there that cater to the needs of students. Look for retail assistant jobs, or bar jobs in the city you are studying in. If you're in a big city there'll be loads of places that will hire you on the understanding that you might not be able to work regular hours, and you will be disappearing home throughout the summer months. In fact, some places actively look to recruit students for these reasons. A side job also helps keep your finances topped up.
All inclusive accommodation
Signing up for all inclusive student accommodation is a great way to manage your finances. Not only can it work out cheaper, but it also means you only have one bill to consider for your accommodation costs - rather than having to keep track of water, gas, rent and other utilities. Browse our all inclusive student accommodation for some examples of what's on offer, and what allowances you get for your utilities.
Share the load
Your housemates will often become your best mates, and although you won't get on with everyone, it's all part of gaining your independence. When you have found some housemates that you like and have forged a strong friendship, you might want to consider sharing the cost of living. Four of you doing a big food shop each week or getting a Costco membership will be much cheaper than if you were to do it yourself.