When having the time of your life at uni managing student bills and finances isn’t going to be high on your list, but it’s super important to keep a tab on it so you can continue living your best life! It’s estimated that over 79%* of students worry about finances during uni, so we’ve put a few tips together to ease the strain
Choose a student friendly bank account
Most banks offer student accounts with some great incentives such as free rail cards (Santander) or cash incentives so it’s worth having a shop around before choosing one.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to pick a bank that will offer you a guaranteed 0% overdraft fee for the largest amount, it’s a nice safety net to have for those tight months! Just make sure you read all the T&Cs and understand the way it works including the repayment conditions before jumping in.
Also, if in doubt there’s no shame in asking mum and dad!
Try and avoid unnecessary borrowing
When you can keep on top of borrowed money things are usually fine, but it can be very easy to slip up and fall into a spiral of debt. Try and avoid credit cards (however tempting it may be!) or loans unless you are 100% sure that you can manage them.
If you do decide to get a credit card, resist withdrawing the money from an ATM. Any money withdrawn from the card will be recorded on your credit score. This could crop up as a problem later in life when applying for a mortgage!
Effective ways to budget
There are many ways to manage your budgeting, good ol’ fashioned ways or new more engaging ways. Let’s face it if budgeting can be a little bit less boring, we’re all for it!
An old but gold way of managing your budgets, the spreadsheet will do all the maths for you and is a great way of seeing how much you’ll be left with in the kitty for holidays and treats.
Student budgeting calculator
A really good way of quickly checking in on your budget. Simply fill in the fields and the rest is done for you, easy! Here’s a few free budget calculators worth checking out UCAS and Save the Student.
Setting up direct debits is a great way to keep you from overspending. Setup direct debits for the vitals i.e. rent & utilities. This way you won’t miss any payments that may pop up out of nowhere when you’re out of pocket!
We think apps are super useful, you can categorise purchases, set aside money easily and you have all the other banking options at your fingertips. Not to mention those useful alerts for when you’re close to your limits – absolute life savers!
A few good ones worth a shout out are Monzo (perfect for budgeting) and Starling bank (great for everyday use). A few other good ones (and totally free) apps worth checking out are Yolt, Cleo and Spending Tracker.