Top budgeting tips
Sit down and work it out
In reality there is no magical method for managing a budget and staying in control of your spending. At the beginning of each term it’s important to spend a bit of time working out exactly how much you have to spend and what you need to pay out for. If possible, and if you think it will work for you, it might also be a good idea to do a mini-budget each week.
It is worth putting some leg work into finding the best deals around – especially when it comes to student bank accounts, mobile phone contracts and utility bill suppliers. Banks work hard to lure students in with promising introductory offers and incentives such as five-year rail cards and free travel insurance but accounts from company to company do vary and one might be of more use to you than another. Similarly, you could save money on your utilities and your mobile phone bills if you switch to the supplier which is the best value for money.
Share and share alike
You can’t move in supermarkets these days for all the special offers and 2 for 1 deals crowding the aisles, so why not buy things like in toiletries in bulk, split the cost and share items with your housemates. Just make sure you’ve got enough room in the bathroom cabinet!
If you do have any savings, or you manage to earn a little bit extra during the holidays, why not stick your money into an ISA. Designed as tax-free savings accounts, you can deposit anything up to £3,600 per financial year and sit back as your money earns you up to 6% interest.
Give it a second thought
Buying books for your course can be extremely costly and because you have to get them at the beginning of each term, can leave you out of pocket before you’ve even started. Most Universities have a second-hand book shop on campus where you’ll be able to purchase most or all of the books you need at discount prices. At the end of each term they will even allow you to sell back the ones you no longer need!