A Finance Guide For Students
If you are one of the 2.2m students in the UK, you may see January as a time of financial prosperity. However, if you are also part of the one in ten students who spent “over £2,700 of their loan in the first fortnight”, you have probably been as broke as a joke for the last 2 months. Perhaps you’ve made a promise to avoid spending your loan as hastily. If you’re tired of playing hide and seek with your student loan, here are a few tips to help.
Perhaps you’ve made a promise to avoid spending your loan as hastily. If you’re tired of playing hide and seek with your student loan, here are a few tips to help.
- Mums The Word
Research from the University of Sheffield and comparethemarket.com has revealed that students would prefer receiving their loans in smaller instalments, in order to have better money management. Although the government are yet to do this, you could set this up with your parents. Try giving them a portion of your loan to keep on your behalf. Then, make an arrangement for them to send it back to you throughout the term.
You could ask to be sent a set amount each week, or just simply when you run out of cash and are in need. It’s a happy ending on both sides. You won’t spend it all as quickly and, your parents will be able to give you this money, rather than their own.
- Get a Separate Account
If your parents have an equally bad spending habit and are likely to spend the money, you could try opening a separate account yourself. As an alternative, you could simply place some of your loan in that separate account.
Certain saving accounts with banks, such as Santander, only allow you to withdraw money with a passbook and by going into a branch. Though this might seem like a hassle, you may be less likely to make the effort if you don’t really need it.
- Work, Work, Work
Rihanna said it best. Work. One of the most useful things to us are our hands and feet: perfect for a retail job. Once your loan drops into your account, a consistent flow of money coming in can stop you running out.
Try to find a job which fits around your uni timetable, not the other way around. Recruitment agencies tend to provide flexibility, as well as a weekly income.
The simple truth is that spending is inevitable, however there is a hierarchy. Rent, transport, food. Important. Expensive make-up, clothes and shoes…not so much.
At the beginning of the year, you should receive a schedule of your Student Finance payments throughout the year. Calculate how much you will have to spend per week. Then, allocate money to the necessities first. Discipline yourself to stick to your allocations. £10 more on food is £10 less on other necessities, so be realistic when planning.
- Food Glorious Food
The stereotype of students’ love for pizza is so annoyingly accurate but, don’t be fooled by those ‘Two for Tuesday’ Domino’s deals. Home cooked meals are the cheapest alternative. Websites such as Student Recipes and Student Eats specifically cater for, you guessed it, students.
One tip for saving money on groceries is to buy in bulk. For example, if your culinary portfolio includes a lot of rice, you can save by buying bigger bags of rice. Here’s a little maths for you – A sells 1 X 10kg bag of rice for £11 (Lidl). B sells 10 X 1kg bags for £1.50 each (Sainsbury’s). Which is cheaper? With A, you would save £1.10p. Though this isn’t the biggest bargain, saving a pound here and there can make a big difference to your overall food shop.
Dayna Simmonds is a contributor to Inspiring Interns.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internship jobs and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit our website.