The biggest worry for all university students is money money money! It’s all I hear students complain about, trust me the worries and stresses don’t go away. Money is something our lives revolve around. Some of us are good with money and some are terrible. I’m not afraid to admit growing up that I’ve not had people around me who were great at balancing money and I think that’s one reason which made me determined to never get into trouble with it. As students, we all get a student loan and some get grants (grants is a touchy subject at the moment with the whole government debate so that’s a whole other post) but it all goes together in your bank account. I’ve heard many students this year in person, on YikYak or Facebook complain about money struggles. Well I have some tips after surviving my first semester, which could help current and future students.
Firstly, for current students. So it’s semester 2, Christmas has gone, it’s a new year and the Student loan has gone in. My first advice is go to your finance office, at Staffordshire this is in the Cadman building, and pay off this terms accommodation bill. That way it’s out of your bank account and you’re not looking at your bank account thinking you have more money available to you than you do. Once that’s out of the way, with your remaining funds divide it by how many weeks there is before you next get money, in this case 11 weeks (9 weeks of term and then 2 weeks holiday) and then work to that budget. Then if by the end of the week you have any of that weeks budget left treat yourself, or save it in money box and treat yourself at the end of X number of weeks.
Future University students, it’s not too late to start saving some money to bring to uni! Trust me, if you save up now you will thank yourselves come December. It’s a good idea to get a summer job over the holidays this year before you come to University, not only will you save money to treat yourself with but you earn great experience to put on your CV! This will help your chances of possibly getting a job when you go to University to further support yourself. Also don’t forget to sign up for a student bank account, search around and find the ones that will give you the bonus’ to suit you, for example rail cards or Amazon vouchers.
My last piece of advice, in my opinion, applies to everyone. Avoid going into that overdraft! It’s there as a safety net, but don’t dip into it if you can help it! It’s a vicious cycle and one that some of us can get caught in, then before you know it you have no money and living in the over draft, which is not a nice place to be! If you’re a current student and having money issues, your University will have people you can talk to and will do their up most best to help you. Staffordshire University have this page set up with great financial advice and help/advice for any students struggling. Which you can find Here.