Did you ever experience the ‘student loan just dropped in my bank account’ feeling? Did you ever experience the text message from Student Finance saying that your money will be with you in 3 working days? Did you ever experience waking up and checking your online banking and blurting out “daaamn”. If you didn’t, I’m sorry, but that feeling was one of the best feelings ever, especially as an 18-year-old just starting university and your bank balance was on £1.60 and your card just got declined at the shop not too long ago. For many uni goers including myself at the time, seeing that much money all at once in my account was astounding to say the least. We felt like we could splash the cash, until we realised that the money was meant to pay for things such as rent for our student accommodation, bills, food, travel, necessities – then you start wishing you didn’t buy drinks for everyone at the bar last night.
The real issue is, many young people are never taught how to manage their money properly. Financial education and student budgeting are not something the school curriculum offer to students (which I totally think they should) and many parents do not teach their children about finances because they don’t know any better themselves. Therefore, when young people start university they are then forced to become financially independent without ever knowing what that means.
According to a National Student Money Survey, they found that 84% of students worry about having enough money to live on and 34% also saying that their grades even suffer. Financial hardships at university can be something that can be very overwhelming for many and can ultimately affect many other areas of your day to day life. So, how do you get by at university when your money worries seem to be getting worse.
Well, as boring as it may sound, the first thing to do is to always create a budget list so you are able to properly plan how you will manage your finances. There are millions of students who are dealing with financial hardships at university and most of the time it is because they did not budget beforehand. Once you write down your budget, put it somewhere visible to you every day and stick to it. Its either that or you are £700 in your overdraft and have your bank account is giving you the silent treatment. Also, the internet is filled with money management tips and apps that can guide you and give you the best possible advice.
- PUT SOME MONEY ASIDE
As well as budgeting, it is always important to put some money aside in a savings account or in an account you do not use. Yes, I know what most people will while reading this, “how will I ever save while at university, especially when I don’t have much money”. If saving a certain amount each month is a part of your budgeting plan, then of course you can. When I was at uni, I set up a direct debit of £20 per month that was transferred straight into my savings account. To be honest, most of the times I would even forget that it left my account, except if I didn’t have enough money in my account. So, university cost of living you can then think of how much you will be willing to save each month, even if it is the smallest amount.
- FIND AN ALTERNATIVE INCOME
Many people resort to finding part time jobs whilst studying, which can become a massive load of your shoulders financially. However, always make sure that you do not feel overwhelmed, because if it feels as if your university work is struggling then it may be worth speaking to your manager or supervisor about cutting your hours down even more. Also, it may be wise to see if your university has any part time vacancies on campus as it may be more convenient and easier for you.
- RESEARCH ADDITIONAL FUNDING
There is so much funding that students can apply to and claim which they don’t even know. It is important to see what bursaries and grants may be applicable to you. May be do some online searching or take a trip to your university campus where you can ask for advice on the best bursaries and grants available to university students.