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University | Budgeting

Budgeting is no easy task. Opportunities to eat and drink
out, events that cost money, great student discounts and the weekly shop come
about aplenty whichcan make it really hard to stick to a budget. Whilst you’d
have to have the willpower of a saint to not splurge every now and again, using
the simple weekly formulation you can find out a basic budget to live on.

I found the best way to do this was:
Allowance of student loan for term / number of weeks until
next allowance = weekly budget.
Everyone finds different methods that work best for them,
but I always found that taking my weekly budget out of the bank and trying to
not use my card was the easiest way. It tends to even itself out if you have a
week where you go over, but as I often found myself going over I decided to get
a part-time job.
Part-time work

Part-time work is a great idea at university if you have
time in your schedule. It not only looks like you’ve got a really good work
ethic and experience on your cv, but it can really help your budget tick over
with an influx at the end of the month. I used my weekly budget for all my
basic needs (food shop etc) and then just allowed myself treats out of my wage.
Whilst it can make your workload and social life harder to
juggle, it really is one of the best ways to take the stress out of money
whilst you’re at university. If you’re really desperate, you can always get an
overdraft though.
Student overdrafts

Overdrafts are a tricky one as most of them come with
student bank accounts anyway. Whether you make the decision to have one is
obviously completely up to you, but I would recommend you be aware of the
following:
It isn’t free money. Whilst this might sound obvious, the 0%
interest can be enticing for all those students being tempted by the ability to
have overdrafts of £1000+. Unfortunately it does have to be paid back, and
although it doesn’t have interest added onto it – it can add extra stress and
worry when you’ve left university and have to pay it off.
You might not get a job straight away. Whilst you might be
really lucky in getting a job straight away, many students don’t and are left
with big amounts of debt when they leave uni. Unfortunately I got an overdraft
whilst I was at university, and although it isn’t as huge as it could have
been, it’s still taking chunks out of my pay packet now, which is annoying!
The best method for keeping to budget is just using common
sense – only spend what you can afford to, and try not to be tempted to
splurge. If you do splurge it isn’t the end of the world, but it’s probably
better to either plan for them or have additional income to help out.

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