University is a real make or break moment – especially when it comes to money. You need to study hard, so a job sometimes seems out of the question.
You also need to save because you’re living from loan to loan but you also want to go out and have the time of your life – it’s a tricky one.
Firstly, you need to understand that while you’re at University, the bank is your friend but once you’re in the big bad world of work, they’re the sort of friend that asks for that pound back they loaned you. That £2,000 overdraft might seem like a good idea now but understand once you’re deep down in that debt, it’s really tricky to get out and interest rates aren’t all fun and games either once University is over.
An unpopular but practical way to manage your money is by transferring your student loan to your parents, and asking them to give you a weekly allowance so that you don’t blow it all on one big night out. Although this does work, it doesn’t really prepare you for life all that well.
Once you’re out of university, you’ll (hopefully) have a salary to manage yourself and it helps to have some life experience of managing your money before then.
If your course allows, a part-time job could be a great way to give you a little extra income to enjoy yourself at university – plus, you’re likely to meet some fun new people. Look for bar jobs in student unions or other popular nightclubs where you’re likely to have a good social life. Also look out for jobs in your favourite high street retailers because then you’re likely to get employee discount!
Save your money using the old-school piggy bank method of counting up all your cash each month and storing it in jars. Spending becomes far too easy with contactless payments – making a £3 coffee far too accessible. However, split your weekly allowance into jars and suddenly it’s not quite as easy. Try and stick to a rule of when you’ve run out then that’s it and you can’t spend anymore. For more help when it comes to this type of saving, click here.
Finally, don’t lose money on rental accommodation. According to The Guardian, around 40% of students lose an average of £164 when they move out of their rented accommodation, simply because they don’t leave it clean enough. By the end of term, chances are that your university house will be deserted and one unfortunate friend of the group will be left with a lot of mess to sort out.
Instead of letting it pile up at the end, keep your home tidy and clean throughout the year and make sure you get your full deposit back!