Get into good habits now to secure your financial future.
There are many challenges that arise when it comes to leaving home to study. Perhaps the most daunting of these is being put in charge of your own finances. For most people, student finances mean trying to make not much money go quite a long way. The best (and only) way to stay on top of this, according to online loan broker Solution Loans, is to learn how to manage your money. That way you can avoid expensive borrowing such as short term loans or bad credit loans (see https://www.solution-loans.co.uk/bad-credit-loans ).
Add up your income
Start by looking at all the potential income sources that you’re going to have for a single academic year or term. This could be student loans or grants, cash from relatives or savings that you’ve accumulated yourself. Add together what you know you will have coming in and then break this down by 12 so that you have a monthly amount to work with.
Identify all your expenses
Key to successfully managing your money will be an awareness of where that money is likely to go. How much rent will you be committed to every month and what about utilities such as electricity and water? As well as living expenses such as food, will you have to pay for travel and course supplies?
Create a student budget
The difference between your income and expenses will give you an idea of how much extra you’re likely to have to spend as a student. For many people this could be a negligible amount – in fact, you may even find that you get a negative number when you subtract your income from your expenses. Don’t panic. If that’s the case then all it’s revealing is that you need to make some adjustments if you want to manage your money successfully. This could be finding ways to cut back on expenses or looking for other income sources, such as a part time job.
Take full advantage of being a student
There are lots of perks to being a student that can help you to find ways to manage your money better. For example, banks and lenders offer preferential rates on financial products to students until graduation. You may also find that many of the places you regularly shop offer a student discount if you can provide proof that you’re studying.
Have a long-term plan
Graduation may seem like a lifetime away when you’ve just started studying but it always comes around much sooner than expected. Life is very different for graduates, as opposed to students, and so a long-term plan is going to be essential to ensure that you continue to manage your money well.
- Don’t take on debt you don’t really need. Interest rates may be low or zero now but they will shoot up when you graduate.
- Tie your debts into your salary expectations to ensure that repayments will be affordable.
- Become an expert at being frugal. If you can set aside cash now then you could graduate in a better position than you were before you started studying.
- Avoid the booze trap. Alcohol is expensive and there are cheaper ways to have fun.