It’s not a secret that students aren’t the most affluent of people – not only are they paying for their tuition fees to university, but they’re also covering the cost of their accommodation, food, books and a very active social life all at the same time. Whilst the student loan instalments help, our research shows that 25% of students aren’t able to make their student loan last longer than a month - now that’s some heavy spending!
With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips on how to organise your money at university which will take some of the pressure off, so you can enjoy a night out, guilt free!
1. Make a plan to pay off your university loans
The bottom line is all students will have an element of debt, and it might feel like a lot to pay back when you leave university. However, it doesn’t have to be cause for concern – even a loose plan as to how you will make your repayments will make a world of difference to your peace of mind. This could be anything from creating a budget, to simply thinking about a potential career path for when you leave – a plan, even a vague one, makes a huge impact when it comes to money management.
2. Understand your overdraft
Whilst the student loans may seem like a large repayment, let’s not forget that most students will have a planned overdraft as well whilst at university. Overdrafts are really useful in terms of cash flow, but whilst the interest on these accounts aren’t too bad as a student (more often than not, banks will offer interest free overdrafts to students), as soon as you graduate these interest rates are likely to ramp up very quickly. Therefore it’s a good idea to factor this into any financial plans you have post-university.
3. It might be worth investigating in a part time job at university
This will depend upon your workload, your social life, and a multitude of other factors. But it could be that a part time job – even if it’s only for a few hours a week – will help your cash flow. Not only this, but there are all sorts of jobs that are tailored to students – you could work at your university bookshop, for example, or in the local nightclub. So you not only earn money whilst you work there, but you might even be able to access some useful discounts to save some pennies.
4. Set up direct debits for all your outgoings
This is a simple, but effective way of managing your outgoings. Setting up direct debits for all of your recurring payments each month (such as your phone bill, rent and utilities) means that any money left over is guilt-free spends! Treat yourself to a cinema trip or meal out – you’ve already paid for everything you need to, so you know it’s not going to strain your bank account.
5. Don’t worry too much about your student loans
There’s a misconception that you’ll be overwhelmed by student debt as soon as you leave university. This simply isn’t the case - your monthly repayments are arranged automatically by Student Finance, and the amount of your repayments are based upon how much you earn. So you won’t be paying back more than you can afford – in fact, it usually comes straight out of your payslip, so you might not even notice when you start paying it back.
6. Make sure you have suitable student insurance in place
The total value of the items and gadgets that you take to university is likely to be more than you think – you’ll not only have a phone, but potentially a laptop, and maybe even a tablet. And that’s not including all of your other belongings, like your clothes and jewellery. It’s worthwhile making sure your belongings are protected should the unexpected happen, as a total loss could leave you without essential items that you might not be in the financial position to replace.