Student Budgeting and Money Management Tips
Whether you’re about to be a student for the first time, or you’re embarking on the last years of your student life, it’s never too late to be better with your money. Here are our tips to being an even better saver.
It’s the tried and tested method and it works for a reason. It’s particularly necessary when you’re a student, because your loan arrives in your bank account in three large instalments. It doesn’t always make sense either, with the last instalment coming just before you go home for summer, just when you’re likely to be spending less money because you’re eating your parents’ food.
So, budgeting is essential. Figure out how long each instalment is supposed to last you, and divide it by months or even weeks. Then, simply set up a direct debit for each week. That way, you have the money you need without the risk of over spending. Sticking to your budget is often much harder than it seems though. Take a look at money saving expert Martin Lewis’s Budget Planner to see where you could save some money.
Save Money on Your Health
If you’re on a low income, then you may be eligible for discounts. One of the well kept secrets of being a student; you can simply get a HC1 form from your local job centre or NHS hospital. You may be able to get help with prescriptions, dental treatment, sight tests and vouchers towards glasses or travel expenses. Take a look at the NHS's page on 'Getting help with health costs' to find out if you’re eligible.
Get Stuff for Free
If you’re struggling to furnish your student home, or you want to make it feel a little bit more like home, then why not get furniture for free and do it up your way
? Freecycle is a great website where you can offer items that you no longer want, and request items that someone might have. There are usually local groups, so you can go and collect your chosen item from the person who’s offering it. People offer everything from wardrobes to TVs to magazines, and sometimes there are even gems like laptops on there.
So keep your eye out, and you might just find something worthwhile. It’s also a very green practice, so you can give yourself some eco kudos too.
Don’t Pay for Books
I’m sure you’ve all done it – rushed to the library at the end of a lecture only to find that you’re too late and there isn’t any required reading left. You’ve no other option than to buy it at full price, right? Wrong. Instead, search for it on Amazon. Offering considerable discounts on the full RRP of a book, you can often get the books you need for a quarter of the price. You should also sign up at the city or town library. Often they’ll have the book you need, at no extra cost to you.
Money Saving Websites
Don’t forget about those websites targeted purely at students. They’ll have lots of insights into saving you money, and they’ll spot deals for you too. Subscribe to their email lists and they’ll even be sent straight to your inbox, what’s not to love? Student Beans and Student Money Saver are two of the best.