How to Manage Your Money as a Student

Most people take student life with parties, late nights spent studying, and years of getting by financially. While going to uni can be a fantastic experience, regardless of what you choose to study, it’s safe to say that it’s not an easy ride. Not only will you need to take out a significant loan to pay for your courses, but you’ll have to find a way to make ends meet when you don’t have enough time to work at a full-time job.

Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can improve your financial status as a student, without having to live every day on instant noodles. Here, we’re going to look at some of the best things you can do to manage your money while you learn.

1. Consider Student Accommodation Carefully

Moving into new accommodation is often one of the most exciting parts about student life. You get to move out on your own and put your independence to the test. Of course, living in accommodation also means that you’ll have a lot more to pay for than if you stayed at home. You’ll have to buy all of your own food, pay for the rent, and make sure that you have all the furniture you need too.

If you can get by without student accommodation and just commute from your parent’s house each day, then you really will save a lot of money. Alternatively, try looking for a cheaper house-sharing option outside of what your university offers.

2. Use Your Loan Carefully

Loans can be very helpful things in the right circumstances. Importantly, there are two things you’ll need to get right. The first thing is finding the loan, which means going online, comparing your options, and making sure you’re paying the lowest possible of interest. Once you’ve got the best loan for your needs, you’ll have to commit to using it carefully each month.

It’s tempting to treat yourself to fun and drinks the moment your money drops into your bank account, but it’s crucial that you don’t let temptation get the better of you. Sit down and budget your money carefully straight away, then find out how much you have left over to spend however you like.

3. Switch Your Bank Account

It’s not just loans that can help you out when you become a student; your bank account can be pretty useful too – if you know what to look for. Most banks offer a range of great perks to students in an attempt to draw them in each year. It’s a good idea to check out some of the offers available to see what kind of free extras you can get before you commit to anything.

For instance, one of the biggest priorities you’ll want to look for in your account is an interest-free overdraft. This is a fantastic backup when you’re suddenly facing emergency costs once month and your loan has already run out.

4. Cook and Eat with your Housemates

Rather than always spending pennies on small meals for yourself, why not suggesting a weekly get-together with your housemates where you all chip in for a bigger meal. Not only will you save some money on delicious ingredients, but you’ll also get to spend some bonding moments with people who could become your best friends. Additionally, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to improve your cooking skills when you’re replicating the recipes you’ve seen on YouTube.

5. Earn Extra Income Wherever You Can

A student’s schedule is usually pretty hectic, so you’ll probably have a tough time finding a reliable job while you’re in school. However, there are plenty of freelance gigs available online that you can check out when you’ve got some spare time. University towns also usually have a lot of regular openings for waiting staff, retail and bar staff too.

6. Leave the Card at Home on Nights Out

Finally, remember that even the student-friendly pubs around your university can be seriously expensive. With that in mind, stock up on the pre-drinks, and make sure that you only take cash out with you when you’re going clubbing. That way, if you end up getting drunk and deciding to buy everyone you know in your dorm a round of drinks, you won’t have the card to pay for it.

Keeping your card at home when there’s a chance you’ll get wasted reduces the risk that you’ll spend all your budget at once.

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to Happy Penguin is a broker, not a lender, and does not make credit decisions.