STOP! I know budgeting is boring but you need to know how to do it!
So, you’re about to go to uni. I think I know what else this means: there’s a good chance you’re new to this money thing. While you have experience of having money, spending it (and maybe saving it), you probably don’t have experience of managing an income, your bills and all that good stuff. I’ve got your back though, as today, I’m going to give you some advice on how to manage your money and not fritter it all away.
When your student finance only comes in once every three months, you’re going to need to resist a lot of temptation.
Take the money aside that you’ve got for any deposit on accommodation you may have, and then divide the rest by three. Put 2/3 of that money straight into a savings account, preferably with a different bank to your current account so that you’re not tempted to transfer it (out of sight, out of mind), and leave it there. Every month, transfer 1/3 of it out. This way, you won’t find it as easy to spend your money on alcohol and meals out. A pint at ‘spoons may seem cheap, but it’s not when you go every single day! Only in the event of a catastrophic emergency do you transfer any of that money out. And a catastrophe is not that the ASOS sale is about to end.
You’re going to need a budget, and a comprehensive one at that. Get a piece of paper and write down how much money you have to play with at the top, and everything you’re going to spend on bills below. That’s your rent, your utilities if not included with your student accommodation, food, your mobile phone bill, bus/train/tube fares, petrol or anything else associated with your car. It’s even things like magazine subscriptions, subscriptions to online services like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime, and also any subscription boxes you might use like Harry’s for shaving!
Now take away everything you’ve spent. If your money left over is negative, perhaps it’s time to cut down. If it’s positive, whatever is left over is yours to save, buy books, enjoy yourself!