Now that Christmas has been and gone, your finances might have taken a little hit. Luckily, the new year offers the perfect opportunity to organise yourself and get that budget back in order.
Planning your weekly spends and keeping track of the money leaving your bank account will leave you feeling more confident and reassured that you won’t be left penniless at the end of the semester. It’ll improve your overall experience at UWTSD and will mean that hopefully you spend less time worrying about cash-flow.
You might feel like you’ve got loads of money when your student loan lands in your account at the start of term, but it’s very important to spend it wisely. Set aside some time to plan your budget. Here are some tips to make budgeting work for you;
Giving yourself a very tight budget probably isn’t going to work. You need to factor in all your weekly essentials and also ensure that you’re going to have a good time. Look at what you have at the start of term. Your student loan, income from your job or any bursaries and scholarships all need to be factored in. Then work out how much money you typically spend. This will be a little trickier and will all depend on your personal circumstances, but here’s a rough idea of things you’ll want to consider;
- Your rent or Uni accommodation costs
- Your household bills
- Course supplies, textbooks, stationery, etc.
- Travel to and from your campus
- Your weekly food shop
- Any direct debits you might have, phone bills, etc.
- Little extras – eating out, drinking, clothes, hobbies, etc.
- Birthdays, Christmas, holidays
Subtract your outgoings from your income and divide it by the number of weeks it needs to last you. This will give you a rough idea of how much you have every week. When you have this figure, it’s important to be disciplined and not overspend.
Try an app
If maintaining a spreadsheet is not for you, don’t worry – there are so many great budgeting apps out there, and a lot of them are free. Using an app to manage your finances can offer a brilliant way of staying in control. Not only will you be able to access your budget at any time, it’s also more likely to keep you engaged and motivated to monitor your spending. Here are some good reputable ones, as recommended by Money Saving Expert;
- Yolt – available for iOS and Android, this app will allow you to synchronise all your accounts in one view so that you can clearly see where your money is going
- Cleo – a unique app that functions through Facebook Messenger as a personal AI budgeting helper. You can ask Cleo anything; from ‘What’s my balance?’ to ‘Can I afford to eat out tonight?’. She’ll help you to get on top of your money through personalised info and push notifications
- Money Dashboard – does what it says on the tin – it displays all your incomings and outgoings on a simple dashboard so that you can closely monitor your spending
- Pariti – this app collates your bank accounts so that you can easily see the amounts coming in and going out against your spending targets. This is a great way to see exactly how much you have left to spend from day to day
If these are not for you, remember that you can always create your own spreadsheet or download a good budgeting template. Remember to keep on top of it though!
Ask for support
If you are struggling to keep on top of your finances, remember that you can always approach the University for advice and support.
Get in touch with the Student Finance Officer on your campus for guidance about managing your finances, making financial decisions, and information about bursaries you can apply for;
Tel: 01267 676830
Tel: 01570 424722
Tel: 01792 481123