An important part of ensuring that your time studying goes smoothly, is learning how to organise your weekly university budget at university. So, I have packed loads of tips and tricks into this article, which are going to help you get your stuff together and once and for all get yourself in order!
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Tip Number One – Buy yourself a planner/notebook to keep things in order
A huge part of staying as on top of money as possible, is keeping track of your spending. So the first thing you need to do is to write down all of your outgoings. Be sensible, but also be honest with yourself!
Your list should include things like:
- Phone Bill
- Stationery/University Supplies
- Mobile Phone Contract
- Car Costs/Petrol Costs
- Public Transport Costs
- Nights Out
- Take Out Food/Eating Out
- Anything else you spend money on!
Make sure to record yourself for at least a week.
Write down everything you buy and how much it was on your phone. Then really analyse your spending habits. Is there anywhere you could cut out some costs? Do you buy a cup of Starbucks every day before your 9am lecture? Or can you not resist the cheese toasty that the union offers for lunch?
I am not saying that you should deprive yourself, in fact, I actively encourage you to treat yourself! BUT when you are on a budget, it is important to cut down on spending.
Make sure that you continue to record your spending habits, so that you always keep a good track of where your money is going! This is going to allow you to go back and evaluate if you seem to be running short on money!
Student loans might seem like a lot, but when you break it down, especially with the price of rent increasing, it doesn’t always go very far!
Tip Number Two – Have two bank accounts. One as an everyday account, and one as a savings account
I really recommend this, as it is something that helped me out, and still does! Having two bank accounts means that you can have one account for things like bills, and one account where you transfer any left over money to keep for spending/savings. This really is a key part of organising your weekly budget at university.
Having two different accounts is a must! Because otherwise, you could be less inclined to ‘not touch’ your saving money. If it is in another account, you really need to think twice before spending it!
Tip Number Three – Make a menu, and stick to it!
Try to avoid impulse buys when it comes to food. It is all to easy to just buy a sandwich each day that you head to lectures. But if you did this even just spent £5 on lunch twice a week, it would cost you £520 a year! Meal prepping and take your lunch with you when you know that you have got a long day avoids unnecessary overspending. This crazy amount you will save shoes the importance of learning how to organise your weekly budget at university!
Tip Number Four – See where you can save!
If your student loan doesn’t cover everything, see where you can save! Could you shop in stores which are more budget friendly, like Lidl or Aldi? Could you go out drinking a little less, or maybe order just one takeout a week instead of four?
Always keep some spare change for a rainy day, or for things like your car breaking down. These sorts of sucky things do unfortunately happen, and honestly, you’d really rather be in the position where you can help yourself in this kind of situation!
Tip Number Five – Don’t buy anything unnecessary.
I know that we all love to buy ourselves nice things. But make sure to reevaluate your ‘needs’ every once in a while, and see if you REALLY do need that new £40 jumper., or whether you could look in a charity shop and get a cheaper but still cut alternative! (While saying no to fast fashion and saving the environment!)
Tip Number Six – Sell your old items online.
Facebook marketplace, Ebay and Gumtree offer good places to sell stuff that you are no longer using! This could get you a little bit of cash to put into your savings – or go towards that new laptop you have been needing!
Tip Number Seven – Manage your subscriptions!
Being a student is key to getting amazing discounts! So don’t ever overpay! Paying for Spotify? Make sure to switch over to student Spotify! Or better yet, make use of your data and just listen to the latest hits on YouTube! Are you a fan of amazon prime? Make sure that you sign up to Student Prime instead, for the same service cheaper! *Click here for a 6 month free trial of Amazon Prime for Students!*
Tip Number Eight – Make use of your student discount!
Whether it is your free Mcflurry, or a Gregg’s sausage roll, make sure that you are utilising your student status! Websites like Student Beans are fantastic resources for finding the latest student discounts!
There are also plenty of shops that offer student discount in their bricks and mortar stores, so keep an eye out for those bargains! If you are treating yourself, you may as well get a deal!
Tip Number Nine – Get a Part Time Job
If you have followed all of these budgeting tips, and taken a real look at your spending habits, but still don’t have enough, it might be time to get a part-time job.
If you are looking for tips on the best way to go about this, make sure to check out our blog post for tips on getting a part time job as a student. Just make sure that you aren’t working more than 16 hours a week! Any more than this and you need to consider the impact that it is having on your studying. Only ever do what feels manageable to you, and don’t put your degree or mental health on the line for a job that is paying you minimum wage!
Tip Number Ten – Resources for if you get a little stuck
I wanted the last tip to be some resources for if you get a little bit stuck. As much as we can do our best to budget at university, everyone struggles from time to time, and that is okay! Here is a small list of resources for a few different situations that we all find ourselves in with money. Make sure to keep these on hand if you are ever unsure!
Thank you for reading this article! Make sure that you check out our video on, ‘How to organise your weekly budget at university.’ for a different format of these tips, as well as some bonus ones!
Make sure to check out our YouTube video on budgeting! Give us a like and subscribe so that you don’t miss any future videos!
Have a great week, and I will see you next Thursday!
Georgia, Lead Content Creator for The Lazzzy Student x