Managing your money at University

Managing your Money at University

Let’s be honest with ourselves: financial management at university can feel overwhelming. Tuition fees, living costs and course costs, by the end of the year, can mount up.

It doesn’t have to be a frightening experience. With proper money management and a good dose of common sense, finances at university can be a much less stressful experience, even a smooth and simple one!

This post is going to breakdown three easy steps to getting you started on managing your money:

1: Your Student Bank Account

Choosing and setting up your student account when you arrive here might initially seem a daunting process, however as an international student, the International Office will help you out and provide you with a Bank Letter that will allow you to open up your account within a few days of your arrival here in the UK.

All of the information surrounding this is provided to you upon your arrival during what we call our “Orientation” week. This week is specifically designed to help you settle in and get all the information you might need for your studies at the University so if you do decide to come to our lovely University, please come along!

2: Your Budget

Putting together, and sticking to, a budget is by far the best way to manage your finances on a consistent basis during your time here at the university.

The first thing you need to work out is your monthly or weekly income. Students we’ve spoken to who managed their finances well during university suggest breaking down income by following these steps:

  1. Work out your total income, be that student loans, bursaries, scholarships, part time work or savings that you intend to spend on living costs.
  2. (Optional) If you can afford to then set aside a small portion of this income as emergency funds.
  3. Take off what you consider your “Essentials” – This means food, bills and rent. Don’t forget to include the small bills like your phone and travel costs that you might incur.
  4. Divide the money you have remaining between the weeks of term or perhaps by month. This depends on how your income is sent to you. Divide your money according to your situation.

You now have a working idea of what money you have left and a good starting point for your budget.

The key here is to save, even just a small amount each month, so that should an emergency of some kind occur, you have funds to back you up.

Now, all of this information is useless if you’re unsure of what things actually cost in the UK! An incredibly useful website is The International Student Calculator – This website is absolutely brilliant, with tools to help you build yourself a budget using the tips above.

3: Student Savings

A huge bonus of being a student is the savings that you can access through a variety of student cards and services. Make sure you make the best out of the student discounts you can get by looking through the following:

  • The main student savings card is the NUS Extra card, which can get you some excellent deals in a huge variety of shops!
  • For travel purposes a huge money saver is the 16-25 Railcard, it can save you a serious amount of money on train journey throughout the UK and if you intend to see the sights that we have, it’s an essential purchase.
  • Save the Student is an excellent website for finding ways to save money, giving you loads of advice and providing discounts across all types of shopping.
  • Both Unidays and Studentbeans can also net you some decent discounts and even loads of free stuff! Be sure to check out these websites frequently as they’re always updating with new offers and discounts.

 

Voila! You’ve now experience our whirlwind guide to managing your money at University, be sure to check back on the blog as we’ll be providing advice on a whole host of other things very soon.