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Managing your money

In this video, students at the University of York share tips on budgeting.
When people come to university often, it’s the first time that they have such a large amount of money put in their bank account from the student loan company and it can really quite difficult not spending all of that at once, it looks like a huge amount of money, but it’s really pivotal that you think this has got to last me for 10 weeks, if not longer, until the next student loan, you only get 3 of those in the year, so it’s really Worth making sure that you budget and stick to that budget.
My student loan would not cover the cost of my rent so I had to go and get a job in order to make up for that loss and fortunately I was able to get a job within my first week in moving to York, and I think even if you don’t financially need to get a job, it’s probably quite worthwhile doing it anyway, because it gives you that kind of structure that idea of ‘it’s not just University’, you get another community of people to get to know beyond your course and beyond your flat. And also it gives you a foretaste into the real world beyond university.
One of the biggest mistakes I made in managing my money was leaving he essentials to the last minute, things like food especially and I realise that actually what I need to be doing when I was having that money was to make sure that I did my food shop first and then anything left over I had for treats like coffees and cakes. I have two different bank accounts, one bank account where my student loan comes in and that pays for my accommodation, and I also have a bank account which I have my have my personal money in which I know I can spend.
So budgeting and making sure you know where Your money is going is a great way to manage your money. I also had a part-time job, and I’ve had a part-time job all the way through university, I’ve actually had two part-time jobs. With this it gives you a bit more freedom as well, so you know you’ve got money coming in no matter what. Coming into university life, I definitely made the mistake of shopping a lot on campus. I would definitely advise you to branch out to the town, further outside of campus, for your shopping essentials. I would also encourage you to open up as quick savers account.
I found that, with me, I was able to rack up quite a good savings by the end of the month and just have my quick savings account, so I would definitely advise you to do so.

Have a look at what our students have to say about managing money – they’ve all been there so you can learn from their top tips (and mistakes)!

In this step, we’ll break the key components of finance and budgeting down to help you understand how it all works, and pick up some top tips!

Top budgeting tips

Here are some of our top tips for making your money go further at university:

  • Set yourself a (realistic) budget and keep a record of money coming in and going out.
  • Pay for your essentials such as accommodation and food first so you know how much you have to left to spend on optional extras, socialising and luxuries.
  • Withdraw cash for the week so that you know exactly how much you have to spend and are not tempted to overdo it.
  • Get a student travel card so you can save on rail fares for trips away.
  • Buy second-hand textbooks if appropriate (ensuring they are the correct version for your course) and check which books and equipment for your course are essential.
  • Get a student card and make the most of discounts available in shops and restaurants.
  • Cook from scratch, in bulk or with housemates, so you can spread costs and keep takeaways as a treat.
  • Consider a part-time job if you are able to balance it alongside your course.
  • Remember that your loan is paid in 3 installments but will need to see you through the holidays as well as term time.
  • Buy a bike or walk wherever you can rather than using public transport.
  • Make sure you meet all student finance application deadlines to ensure you give yourself the best chance of receiving your funding in time for the start of term.

More advice from students

Read some of our student blogs on ways to manage your money:

What do I do if I get into difficulty?

If you do find yourself encountering unexpected financial problems when you are at university then don’t keep it to yourself. Your university’s Student Support team will be able to provide you with advice and guidance to help you navigate the situation and may have funding that you are able to apply for in such circumstances.

Have you got any further tips for making your money stretch further? We’d love to hear them in the Comments.

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