From paying your bills to covering the cost of food, managing your money when you’re at university can feel a bit challenging. If you find you’re constantly stressed about money and it’s distracting from your studies it could be an indication that something needs to change. Here are some tips to make sure you’re on the right track.
1. Understand your spending
It’s important to look at your spending and try to identify where your money has gone. You could look through past bank statements or, if you have access to mobile banking, try looking at your spending via a banking app.
By doing this you’ll be able to see if you’re overspending in certain areas and where you may need to cutback. For example, you may feel you’re spending too much on eating out or subscriptions.
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2. Sort out a budget
If you’re struggling to get your finances in line, try creating a budget. It’s effectively a spending guide for the future based upon your current spending and also your goals. Not only can a budget help keep your spending down, it can also make you feel less guilty about spending on things like clothes as you’ll know when you can really afford it.
3. Get a job
A part-time job can be a helpful way to bring in some money if you need to top up your cash flow. You could try get a job in your uni or a local shop. You may also be able to get paid work experience which can bring in money while giving you hands-on experience in your desired career.
If you’re going to look for work during your time at uni, make sure it won’t interfere with your studies.
4. Find out if you’re eligible for extra funding
Depending on your course or your individual circumstances, you may be eligible for extra grants, scholarships or bursaries to help you during your time at uni. You should be put forward for any relevant funding by your uni, but it’s always worth checking to see if you're entitled to receive anything else. Grants, bursaries and scholarships generally don’t need to be repaid.
5. Speak to someone
Getting professional advice if your money problems become an issue can be helpful. There may be someone at your uni you can speak to who can give you financial advice or you may want to speak with your bank to see how they can help.
Speaking with your family and close friends about any concerns can also be helpful as they may be able offer some guidance.
Keeping on top of your money by regularly reviewing your finances can help keep it under control. Try getting into the habit of looking over your incoming and outgoing money so you don’t get caught out by overspending.