How To Improve Your Uni Budgeting Game
- Aida Gugsa
Starting university this month and not sure what to do with all the money Student Finance has dropped in your bank? Aida has some tips for those of you that are stressing
Personally, I’m not that great with words. I prefer numbers. Saying that, finance is a whole other ball game. If my rent costs £5,500 for 10 months and student finance are giving me £3,500 for the whole year, how will I be able to stay afloat? And before you suggest getting a part-time job, I already have one (at Sainsbury’s) and it still isn’t enough.
For many first year students like myself, this will be the first time we will be moving away from home and handling our own personal finances. There is rent, bills, food, shopping – the list goes on. So yes, I’m gaining independence, but that freedom comes at a price – and it ain’t cheap.
In my case, I went through clearing so moving away from home was never part of the plan. My situation changed and I found myself in this dilemma where I was trying to budget the next academic year in three weeks. It was a little manic, from searching for last minute accommodation to working out how much student finance money I’ll be receiving. I still don’t think I’ll be settled until mid-term!
I liked working out how much it will cost me per month/year. It looked a lot prettier down on paper than in my head. No matter how many lists I write, it won’t change the fact that I need to start managing my money correctly instead of splurging at the cinema each week, alongside my many other weaknesses.
Here are a few tips to improve your budgeting game:
Check Out The House
Before you move in, check out your accommodation and see what they will be providing you with. If you can’t travel there, call them up and ask for photos. This will give you a rough idea of the space you have to work with and what you will really need.
Write a list and stick to it. Don’t pack summer stuff when winter is around the corner. Try not to waste money on unnecessary things you know you won’t use. Every penny counts.
Not Everyday Takeaway
Eat in more. If you can’t cook then learn, there are a variety of recipes on the Internet, so there really is no excuse. Otherwise indomie will have to suffice…
Exercise In Your Room
Unless your uni provides you with a free gym membership, get a bike. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it’s a lot cheaper than a gym workout, trust me.
Do Your Research!
There are many sites that offer advice for new uni students. Have a read, that’s all I found myself doing for almost two weeks (big up studentroom) It will make your transition much easier.
Ask Your Mum
Before you move, ask your parents to hook you up. If they buy the basics e.g pasta, rice, tinned food etc. It will reduce your shopping bill and all that’s left for you to buy is fresh goods.