How to: manage your finances at university

This article originally appeared on Gradlancer.

You hit the refresh button on your laptop and before you know it, its in.

The student loan has dropped, and you’re already figuring out that you can afford that bag from Selfridges, but you can also buy a weekend getaway to Spain tonight, if you wanted to.

On the first night out with your new flatmates, you are the jaeger-bomb queen. “I’ve got this round, don’t worry!” you say, as you throw another £20 note on the soggy bar, not a care in the world. Dominos AND potato wedges? Family feast? “I’ve got this.”


5 weeks later you find yourself calling up your local branch, asking “is it possible to extend my overdraft by another £250 please?”.

Don’t fall into the trap that the majority of freshers do. It’s okay, we understand that this is probably the most money you’ve had to hand since, forever, but this is also what you need to pay your rent with, and feed yourself.

Here are 4 quick tips to ensure that you don’t fall into the overdraft trap, and that you don’t live off pot noodles during the last month of term.

1 – Pay off as much rent as possible: 2 month, 3 month blocks if you can. That way you can still be the jaeger-bomb queen, but on a budget that won’t be eating into your rent money.

2 – Allocate money into a separate account for standing orders: No one wants a bad credit rating at the tender age of 18. Make sure that your phone bill, Netflix & any other monthly payments you have to make are in a separate account, with money in it, (what will you do if you can’t watch OITNB anymore?).

3. Food shopping doesn’t have to be expensive: On average, a decent food shop should cost you around £25 a week, even if you are shopping in the prestigious Waitrose. Make sure that you at least have the basics each week. No one likes to be hungry.

4. Get a job: Though this may seem obvious, a lot of students assume that their loan will cover all their expenses, and once you realise the true price of toilet paper and washing detergent, a job may be the answer to all your money woes. Make sure it doesn’t interfere with your studies, though!

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Claire Stapley


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