One of the big things about coming away to university is learning those essential life skills such as cooking, cleaning and most of all budgeting. The nice thing about living in halls initially is that your rent goes out just after your loan comes through, meaning its easy to see how much money you have.
I know how tricky this can be and will confess to having to be bailed out by my parents on more than one occasion. So below is a small list of tips I have compiled from experience which I need to stick to as much as anyone else.
1. Remember to pay the rent
This seems obvious but it is so easy to forget you need to pay rent, especially when you get your statement from the cash machine and you think you’re loaded. That’s until you realise you still have 2 months rent to pay.
2. Bills are weird
For those who pay them separately, you can be feeling rich one day, then come home to find a quarterly bill sat on your door step, so make sure you have a bit of spare cash tucked away because you can sometimes get money off your next bill if you pay it straight away!
3. The phrase “it’s fine, I have a job”, will come back and bite you on the bum.
It’s surprising how fast your wages can disappear, especially when you don’t keep track of how many hours you are working and how much you are getting paid for each shift.
4. Start budgeting from the very beginning.
Particularly relevant if you’ve been teetering on the back end of your overdraft for a while, as it can be tempting to relax the budget as soon as your next loan instalment comes through.
5. And finally, the little things really do add up.
Even something as small as a £1 sandwich in the canteen each day can add up if you don’t account for it in your budget plan
Written by Sarah Benson