If you're planning to attend university in September, you should start thinking about your student budget now. You may think it is too early to start, however, this early preparation will allow you to begin university with no worries about anything other than where your lecture rooms are.
By creating a student budget, you can calculate whether your student loan will provide you with enough money for you to live on and if not, you can look at part-time jobs and other forms of income which will aid you in university. To make sure you're prepared, you should take a look at these top budgeting tips which will allow you to get the most out of your student experience.
Choose the best student account
One of the main advantages of being a student is your loan, so to make the most out of it, you should try to find the best bank account deal out there. You want to avoid making the mistake that many students have in the past, which is using their current account for their student loan. Unlike a student account, current accounts charge for overdrafts, while the majority of student accounts have 0% overdraft deals, which means you can borrow up to a certain amount in times of need without the drawback of interest.
Another great thing about student accounts is that many banks offer freebie deals, such as a free railcard or Amazon gift vouchers. Before choosing a bank, you should weigh up these options along with the overdraft limit, instead of just picking a branch just because it's around the corner from you. Once you have picked the right account for you and your student loan is available, try to avoid spending it all in one go. You should also stop yourself from reaching your overdraft limit and as a lifelong rule, never go over it, as this can be costly.
Pick the right accommodation
Although you can't choose where you live just yet, as your place at university is yet to be confirmed, this does not prevent you from having a look around. When searching for student accommodation, you need to consider several things, including price, because although the rent may seem low, you need to also look at other costs such as utility bills, Wi-Fi, TV license and more. You should compare these expenses with your expected student loan to establish whether you can afford this for the entirety of the student term.
Location is another massive thing to consider, as you want to make sure that you are close to your place of study without having to pay ridiculous prices. If your university is located in the city centre, nearby accommodation tends to be costly, so some students tend to move outside of the city and travel by public transport. This may be too much hassle, especially if you have a lot of 9 am lectures, so the best thing you can do is look early. If you're planning to attend a Liverpool-based university, you should take a look at the student accommodation available at RW Invest. These apartments offer great deals to students who are looking to live near their chosen university, while also providing an element of luxury to make you feel more at home.
Calculate your living expenses
Once you're settled and living in your chosen accommodation, this is when your budget really counts. To help you survive each term, you should make a plan which includes everything from food and household bills to clothing and leisure funds. You need to create a balance between your needs and wants because although you're living on a budget, you should still be able to have enough money to go out and enjoy yourself.
Just because you're a student does not mean you have to live in squalor and eat beans on toast for the next three years. Instead, you need to be smart when food shopping and choose essential items that will last you at least a week. To avoid spending your money on expensive and unnecessary items, you should make a shopping list, or better yet shop online. If you find that your student loan is starting to run low, you should start to cook in bulk and make lunches to go, which will prevent you from spending your money when you're at university and out and about.
WRITTEN BYBrand Voices