Student finances were literally the bane of my life! In my first year of uni I had zero clue what I was doing, so much so I’d happily go out and spend £100 on a bunch of new clothes from Zara just because I was going on a night out with the girls and need something “new” to wear.
But that’s where I got it so wrong. Once I started to get a grip on my finances, I was able to relax and enjoy life a little more.
I’d say finding a healthy balance between saving and spending while you’re at uni is so important! Check out these 9 habits which will help you keep a healthy relationship with your bank balance.
Level up your student finances with these habits
1. Use a budgeting spreadsheet
This could literally change your life. I found that having a spreadsheet of my outgoings – even if it was extremely basic – helped me calculate what spare money I had to spend and when! It’s so easy to get a chunk of money which is supposed to last three months but spend it all in the space of three weeks.
Money Saving Expert really helped me out when I had no where else to go and couldn’t be bothered to make my own spreadsheet!
2. Set your self a savings goal
Whether you need to budget to get by, or you’re trying to dial down on your spending, it’s all about setting goals to either reduce your outgoings or boost your income.
3. Use finance apps
These are your best friend if you want something quick, easy and on the go. Apps like Monzo group all of your spending into categories so you can easily see when you’re going over budget.
This one definitely helped me curb my addiction to dominos while I was at uni!
4. Set up a direct debit
Think of direct debits as your mum who would make you give her some of your birthday money so you didn’t spend it all at once (no, just me?)..
I found that setting up a savings account that didn’t come with a card was the best option for me.. having the option to save money where I did as little as possible was a great way to save.
5. Learn to say no!
I get it.. nobody wants to be that person who doesn’t go on a night out because they can’t afford it.
But trust me.. it really isn’t that bad! Nights out aren’t the be all and end all to hanging out with your friends at uni. It’s okay to say no once in a while..
Me and my flatmates created a pyjama party in our kitchen, music blaring, playing ring of fire and all eating fajitas or spaghetti bowl.
6. Don’t be a “tap it Tim”
Using your debit card for everything means you’ve got no idea what you’re actually spending.. especially now we’ve gone contactless! I can’t tell you how many times I thought I’d have £100 in my account but turned out I had like £30 because I didn’t realise how much I was actually using.
7. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
I swear people look at students and think they can take us for a ride! Don’t be afraid to haggle your rent if you think it’s too much, or if you think you’re paying too much in bills then shop around.
It’s time you took a stand and make sure you’re not overpaying just because you’re a student.
8. Use student discounts like Studentbeans or Unidays
Honestly, if you’re not taking advantage of either of these then what the hell are you doing?
There are hundreds of shops that offer student discount or give you money off with a student ID. Literally, brands like ASOS, Currys PC World, Sky, Feel Unique – you name it, they probably have a discount for it.
9. Make money with a side hustle
It’s not for everyone and I get that but having a side hustle will help you feel more comfortable with your student finances. Whether it’s a part-time job or spending 20 minutes filling out surveys – earning extra cash while at uni is a no brainer!