Making resources stretch will become one of the greatest lessons learned as a student and a skill that will benefit you for the rest of your life. From making the most of your monthly budget, to working more hours to grow those travel funds, and dealing with the times when you simply don’t have enough cash to splash on a night out with your mates, a little bit of help and advice is always useful.
Getting into smart spending habits now will help you stretch those student finances until the end of each term. Does your money go on eating out, alcohol, or clothes? Begin taking note of everything you spend in a month and then review this after 30 days to identify your spending black holes. Did you really need to spend £25 on cappuccinos in a month?
Look at how much you have going into your bank account, substitute the necessary outgoings (bills, transport, loans, etc) and then review the unnecessary spending and realistically evaluate where you can cut down or find cheaper alternatives.
Here are some cheats to help you pay all those necessary bills, reduce your finance stress and at the same time treat yourself:
Plan your grocery shops –if possible, buy in bulk with friends and pick up the supermarket own brands, which are usually cheaper. Making large, healthy, dinners will allow you to freeze for a later date or use as lunches throughout the week to save you from spending money unnecessarily on sandwiches, etc.
Prioritise book purchases – purchasing every book on the reading list isn’t essential - make use of libraries as they’ll have copies of what you need. Also, consider sharing the cost of necessary purchases with friends or even buy second hand books.
Pinch and scrape – if you can walk to class then do, use your student card for discounts and visit charity shops for clothes and household purchases. If you are skint then perhaps it’s not the right time to buy that newly released smartphone.
Pamper purchase - if you’ve been following a budget then there should be no reason as to why every once in a while you give yourself little reward treats. Consider signing up to “deal of the day” websites so that when the pamper period comes around you can get a little more for your dosh.
Money worries and stress can easily distract you from your studies. Remember, if you are in debt, then the sooner you react, the quicker you will be able to get out of the red. Be smart, be calm, and be open to getting the right help that's available.