When you are first let loose as a student it can be hard to control your spending, maybe you go overboard on a night out or all of a sudden you want the latest phone because some guy on your course has it.
It is important to remain level headed when you are left in charge of your finances for the first time and that you are able to differentiate between the things you need and the things that are, well, just a waste of money.
Often it is seemingly innocent and small things that end up eating into a student loan in a big way.
For instance, if you stop off at one of the many well-known coffee chains on your way into university each morning and pick up a coffee for £3, and you do that every weekday for a year you will have spent £780 on cups of coffee, frightening eh?!
It is important to create a budget when you start university and make sure you stick to it. That way you know how much you have to spend each day, and ‘hidden costs’ like the odd coffee here or shop bought sandwich there won’t be a possibility and your loan will go on the things its intended.
Another sure-fire way to lose out big time is by getting carried away on nights out. We have all been there, you are having a good time and you want to keep the drinks flowing, which is fine, until you wake up the next day and realise you drank next week’s food money.
Often when we are at our busiest we don’t spend much, so it goes without saying, keep yourself busy and you will save money. In fact you could even keep yourself busy by doing a little work outside of your studies.
Any student budget also needs to include having some funds available for making sure you progress academically.
Maybe there’s a piece of equipment or software you may need to buy? Maybe there’s a field trip coming up that you need to pay for? The last thing you want is for your studies to suffer.