University can be a difficult time to master finances and take control of a budget with so many distractions and temptations.
Everyone at James Oliver Properties can all definitely relate to this topic because we were students at the University of Portsmouth over 12 years ago.
Here, we hope is a helpful list to work through:
1) Know your student income and when it will be paid. (include maintenance loans, part time job/ bank of mum and dad, bursaries, scholarships and any residual savings if applicable.
2) Calculate your essential outgoings (rent, bills/ ongoing contracts, food and drink, insurance- tenants contents etc, travel). This can be split monthly/ weekly/ daily however you prefer to break it down and compare it to your incoming money from point 1.
3) We love Money saving experts mantra and recommend using it!
SKINT? Do I need it? Can I afford it?
NOT SKINT? Will I use it? Is it worth it?
4) Use student discount (NUS) but only for expenses you intended to make before realising the discount was on offer!
5) Travel- Portsmouth is all flat so bicycles are an excellent way to avoid bus/ train/ taxi costs and you can sell it at the end of the year too! Just purchase a very good lock or walk everywhere to quickly learn your bearings.
6) Entertainment- pick and choose to maximise on the offerings available to students, with such a good nightlife be sure explore what is out there- be a social butterfly but know your budget and don’t take a bank card on a big night out to curb spending. Alternatives are host a night in such as a games night, free events laid on by Portsmouth Union. The cinema in Gun Wharf is currently doing all films for £4.99- can’t go wrong!
7) Pay in advance- essential outgoings such as rent- if you have a large sum of money to remove the temptation to spend it or lock it away in a savings/ premium bonds account that you can access whenever.
8) Course materials- get involved with the library early when books are outlined as essential- Portsmouth University Library is open 24 hours now, alternatively shop around if you must own it- eBay, amazon, Facebook groups and then sell if you no longer have a use for it!
9) Debt advice- the You Trust or Citizens Advice offer free advice and are independent to your circumstances so can be objective in the guidance they offer.
Hope this list was helpful to at least one person, no-one is perfect and we all have unique patterns of behaviour but this list should give some perspective on your finances.
Apologies if none of this content is new to you, we find that reviewing expenses and going through direct debits yearly can flag up some unwanted outgoings and could save you a small fortune (especially gym memberships if you do not go at least 3 times a week!)