There are many things to consider when you are off to university. One would be the fact that you will leave with a good financial backup from home and other forms of income to live on throughout University. However, this does not mean that the money you have now is meant to be spent now. Some money is not meant to be spent at all and can be used as insurance if something serious happens. Therefore, for those of you who may give in the temptation of spending it all on a shopping day and a few parties, here is some savvy advice:
1. Save Money
When you have enough money in your account for more than a month’s worth of spending, move some of it into a savings account and arrange for a part of it to automatically be paid into your savings account at the end of each month.
2. Bank Account
When choosing your bank account, choose the bank account which offers the lowest interest rate on your overdraft. Insurance attached to your bank account is also very useful, but for this you would usually have to pay a premium.
When doing the budget for a whole month, calculate the rent and living costs first and see how much you are left with afterwards. Do not throw yourself into traveling and shopping unless you know you have covered your initial and primary costs.
4. Utility Bills
If you are living with friends, then arguments about paying bills may appear. Make sure that you decide when you move in how much money you should each contribute on a monthly basis in order to pay the bills. Afterwards, make sure you never forget to add this lump sum on to your “To be paid” list at the beginning of each month as well as your rent.
5. Get a Job
Some of you may need a job to help with finances. This is a good opportunity to get some experience on your CV as well. However, pay attention to the number of hours you would commit to and take into consideration that besides your lectures and seminars, you would also have to study individually. You can do whatever your heart pleases with your first wage, but afterwards, remember that saving is also advised. A good ratio would be: spend half, save half.
6. Student Discounts
Benefit from student discounts from shopping to traveling. A NUS card would be very useful when it comes to spending less. Do not forget to ask at the counter whether they have discounts or not, shops do not always advertise this.
7. NHS Discounts
Be wise about other discounts, especially those related to health issues. Medical prescriptions do not come with a student discount, but you can apply for one through your Student Union in case of low income.
Last but not least, be disciplined when it comes to spending money. You do not want to caught short if you are not aware of the consequences of overspending. Good luck with your budget plan!