How to Not Sink into Your Overdraft
Being a student comes with a wave of new responsibilities, both in terms of lifestyle and academic work. Perhaps the greatest challenge of all is learning how to live independently.
Among the cooking, laundry, and drama of living with other students comes the constant balancing act of handling your finances. It’s understandable if you need a little help, so here are some money-saving tips to help you out!
Plan a Budget
The best way to ensure your financial situation doesn’t get out of hand is to make a pre-planned budget for each term. To do this, you’ll need two figures: your total income & the total amount you’ll be spending. The latter will be more of an estimate unless you need to be extremely strict.
Calculate your total income for each term based on money received from:
- Student Finance
Calculate the total amount of money you’ll be spending on:
- Rent & bills
- Course materials
Compare your income with your outcome and draft a sensible budget based on the two. This will provide a solid framework for each week to ensure you don’t dip into your overdraft.
Know Where to Shop
Living in a city is exciting if not overwhelming. You’ll be swamped with an endless range of bars, restaurants, pubs, and shops for every possible occasion – clothing, kitchenware, home decor.
With this newfound freedom, it may be tempting to splash out on every little thing that catches your eye. But if you’re budgeting as described in the previous paragraph, you’ll know to be conscious of where to get the most bang for your buck.
Do some research – on foot or online – on which shops and services are close by. Find out the general price range for each one and commit to shopping sensibly throughout the year. Consider Aldi over M&S if you’re running low on funds, for example. It’s good to have a solid understanding of your surroundings so you can narrow down your options in a pinch.
Click here for more guidance on where to shop for student essentials in Liverpool depending on your budget.
Deals, Deals, Deals
Finally, no matter where you shop, there are plenty of deals to be found. Cities are honeypots for students, and businesses know this. They understand your budgets are limited but want you to use their services and buy their products anyway.
The easiest way to stay on top of which deals are floating around is to sign up for an NUS Card, or join a website like UNiDAYS. This will open up literally hundreds of deals to you – there is no reason not to take advantage of these.
By the end of your time there, you’ll be an expert at spotting discounts and finding the most efficient way to use your money.
For now, just keep these tips in mind and focus on surviving the year without any mishaps. And above all, remember to embrace new experiences and have fun!