University is a massive step for anyone and the biggest problem for most students is blowing all their money in the first term and having nothing else for the rest of the year. Therefore, university is a great way to learn how to adapt to budgeting money and learning how you will need these skills for later in life. So, follow these tips and you should never struggle with money at university again!
In university there are many different elements that you must budget in order to not struggle and have fun with your money too. These things include food, bills, rent, transport, and having fun. There are so many steps and approaches you can take to budgeting but this is just one way that I use to keep everything completely organized throughout the months/year.
Let’s start with bills and rent! Rent usually gets paid at university termly so in alignment with your student loan so the most important thing to do on this date is to immediately transfer your rent to your landlord/estate agents to make sure you know how much is left for the rest of the month. Then you need to figure you how much you usually spend on bills and transfer this over to another account or savings account, so it is always available every month to pay the bills. I noticed at university that many people would panic when it came to bills because they had spent all their money already and now, they are entering overdrafts and borrowing money in order to not get in trouble with their housemates or the authorities. This is why it is extremely vital to move this money over, it is not spare money it has a value, and that value is bills.
The next thing you have to face is food and this is a big one because many people who attend university are so used to their parents cooking for them that they either don’t realise the value of food or don’t bother cooking at all. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not cooking their own food and bulk making meals because this saves you so much money in the long run. So having a monthly and weekly budget will benefit you so much too. If you have £100 to spend on food in a month then you will need to ensure that you are only spending £25 a week on your food shop, so there really isn’t that much room for takeaways or readymade meals. You need to always think thrifty and then you will have money left over for a treat on a rainy day!
Transport is one of the biggest things with university, unless you live in the main campus you will usually have to travel some way to get to classes. Therefore, your mode of transport is either walking, cycling, bus, or car, with most people often choosing the bus due to expense and convenience. In big cities people do not feel as comfortable riding a bike or walking so will often choose public transport for safety and comfort. So, if you are riding the bus or taking a taxi or driving you will need to think of the costs of a bus pass or petrol so that you can comfortably get to your lessons without having to worry that you won’t be able to afford it.
Finally, and most importantly you have gone to university to get some fun and freedom! You can set the rest of your money that you have left over for going to the pub, nightclubs, and doing fun activities with all of your friends. There is nothing worse than being that one friend who blew all their money at the start of term and now cannot afford to hang out with everyone else, so make sure you are saving as much as you can so you can have fun! My advice would be to only take out £30 for a night out so that you are not overspending, set budgets for certain events and try your hardest to not go over the budget so you can enjoy yourself throughout the year and not just for one week.
One bonus piece of advice I have is to get yourself a budgeting debit card such as Monzo that you can move over money every month and it will tell you how much you are spending on food, shopping, bill, and everything else all separately so you can review whether you need to spend less on certain things. It was one of the greatest things I used, and I never went into my overdraft.
So, the important things to remember is to move over money that is essential for the month such as bills and food and make sure that you have a suitable amount of money left over to have fun with your friends throughout the year. University is all about making memories, so budget you money and enjoy!