The basics of money management: a student guide

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Health Assured team

26 August 2021

Managing your finances can be a daunting task if you’ve never done it before. If you don’t plan, it can get out of control and quickly become overwhelming. It’s a good idea to spend some time looking at your budgeting before you get your student loan, so you don’t blow it all too soon. Here are some tips on money management for students:

Budgeting first

Creating a clear budget or plan for your finances each month is the best way to track your spending. Follow these steps to find out your budget:

  • Break down your budget by working out how much you have each month. Include student loans, money from family, bursaries and any savings you might have.
  • Take off your outgoings each month. Include rent, bills, travel costs, phone contracts and tuition fees.
  • After this, you’ll have your money left over for living. Keep in mind that food, drinks and nights out with friends will all have to come out of this amount. It might be helpful to divide this down to a weekly budget as this can make things more manageable.

There are several bank accounts and apps that can now help you manage your money like Monzo or Mint. So if you’re new to budgeting, or find it tough—it could be worth giving these a go.

Cut back on the cash

Reviewing any current outgoing bills you have can help you to cut back costs. It is easy to allow direct debits and contracts with providers to automatically renew without considering alternative options, but automatic renewals often cost you extra. Taking the time to consider alternative services and brands could help you to save overall. Here are a few options to consider:

TV and Broadband: Switching your providers could help you save. Many organisations offer deals encouraging new customers. Also, consider which TV subscriptions you really need. If you have Amazon Prime, Netflix, NOW TV and other subscriptions, see if you can cut back to use just one.

Food Shopping: We are all accustomed to certain brands and often find it a challenge to switch to anything outside the ‘usual. The consensus is that if something costs more it must be better. However, this is a tactic used by supermarkets to make you spend more and the own-brand products are usually of similar or equal quality as branded items.

Find the freebies: Students can get discounts in many shops, so make sure you ask at the till. Download the UNiDAYS app to get a whole load of discounts on clothes, shoes, food, drinks, books and gym wear. As a student, you can also get a railcard to save up to a third on train tickets.

If you need to access our services to discuss any wellbeing concerns you may have, our confidential helpline is available 24/7, 365.

Alternatively, if you have access to the My Healthy Advantage app (iOS & Android), you can view a variety of wellbeing resources including our new video series, BrightTV – powered by Health Assured, featuring a variety of well-known personalities sharing their unique experiences with mental health.

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