Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had a good Christmas break, and are looking forward to an exciting 2019!
After Christmas, most people’s thoughts now turn to money. Whether you budgeted well in the first term, or ended up over-spending and maxing-out your credit, there’s always room for improvement. The good news is that by taking small steps you can make over your money in the new term, and by managing your finances more effectively, you can cut down on stress and to better enjoy life at University.
How to do this? See our guide below:
Start a budget
We talk about making a budget all the time on this blog, but it really is the best way to ensure that you can stretch your money until your next loan instalment. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a simple budget involves comparing the money that you know will be coming in (such as your loan) with your essential spending (food/ groceries, rent, course costs, travel costs, etc).
Cut back on your spending
Check your bank statements and receipts to see how you’re spending your money. Are there any areas that you could cut back on? A simple way to reduce your shopping bills is to swap branded groceries for ‘supermarket own’ or ‘value’ brand goods.
Look at ways to increase your income
Working part-time can make a huge difference to your finances – and can provide you with useful experience to improve your CV too!
Speak to Unitemps about vacancies and opportunities both on and off campus.
See our How to increase your income post for further ideas.
Be careful when borrowing
As a student, you may find yourself being offered lots of different credit options, but not all of these are good deals – don’t forget that it will need to be repaid. The best option is usually an interest-free overdraft. Find out about what types of credit to avoid with our Good and bad credit post.
Apply for additional funding from the University
If you’re struggling financially, you may be eligible to apply for additional funding such as the Financial Assistance Fund or EU Hardship Fund (eligibility criteria apply) – if you’re offered an award, you usually won’t be expected to pay it back.
Ask for help if you’re worried
Whether you’re worried about money or you have other concerns, help is available from Student Information Desk, Student Support and Advice team and/ or Students Union if you feel things are getting on top of you. If you would like further guidance on money matters, you can contact us through this blog or by email, phone, or come to a Drop-in.
We hope you find these ideas useful; if you have any budgeting tips that worked for you, let us know and we may feature them on our blog.