Starting University: How to Budget at University

So, you have just started university and you have just been given your first taste of what Student Finance is like. If you are fortunate enough to have a loan that covers your accommodation as well as your food shopping money (or) have money set aside for your monthly food shopping allowance; you need to learn how to budget and FAST.

Throughout my first year at university, in all honesty, I was not the best person at budgeting in my first term. I had to learn the hard way in my second term and while all my friends could afford to go out and have fun; I was indoors. The thing is when you get given a lump sum of money, you do become lost with how to budget your spendings – especially when that money has to last three months.

BANK ACCOUNTS

I may not have been the best at budgeting, although despite this when my loan was deposited into my account I did in fact transfer to another account initially. Then each week I would put my weekly allowance into my main account; this ensured I did not lose track of how much money I could afford to spend. With this if you have no self-control, you could end up being drunk in a club; transferring money from one account to another; because that extra Tequila shot seems completely necessary. Another idea is to take that money out of your bank account and only use cash, yet again this only works if you have self-control. There is always the option of asking a parent to transfer you the allowance each week – but after having that for 18 years of your life, I doubt you will want to do that.

FOOD SHOPPING

When you arrive at university, you have all this new found freedom and that includes being in control over the shopping (your mum (or) dad, saying no does not exist anymore) and that can feel quite liberating. Do you want to buy a chocolate cake? Go for it. Do you want to drink fizzy drinks instead of squash? It is your choice! However, those new extras all add up and before you know it, you are spending a ridiculous amount of money every week. On the other hand, you may only buy pasta and happily live off of that for a week; only to go and have a takeaway every day for the next week (trust me it happens). The best way is to write down a shopping list of everything you need beforehand and do not go off track (I still do not have this amount of self-control) also remember never go food shopping hungry!

SNACKING

Throughout my first year, I was dependant on meal deals for lunch and throughout my study sessions, I would buy tubs of fruit and bags of chocolate. Needless to say, this did break my bank especially as with the money I spent on those, could have gone towards my weekly food shopping. Not snacking at all is impossible, however, it is just best to be aware of how much you are spending on food and realise that money could be spent elsewhere. Like I said – I am just as guilty. It must be a student thing.

NIGHTS OUT

You may be familiar with the term pre-drinks but now welcome to university; where pre drinks reach a whole new level. No longer is it just to get hyped up before a night out but the aim is to be drunk enough to last you the whole night out; to avoid spending money on drinks at the club. All I can say is make the most of pre-drinks as not only do I believe they are the best part of the night but they also save you a load of money in the long run. In addition, make the most of your universities student nights and avoid nightclubs at the weekend. I remember one Saturday night I went out and a double drink and a shot cost me nearly double than it would have on a student night.

BEST OF LUCK WITH STARTING UNIVERSITY!

 Do you have any other ideas on how to budget at university? Make sure to drop me a comment down below on your thoughts and ideas that you may have!

Courtney Bekah x

Share: