Friday, 4 July 2014

♥ How To: Budget

At uni, it can all get very confusing being alone for the first time. Being financially dependent on only yourself is not only a daunting and stressful task for someone who's never had to worry about money before, but if you're not keeping an eye on what you spend and where you could land yourself in money trouble. This is definitely something that you don't want to happen in the first term (or year) of uni and it's probably something you'll want to avoid forever.

My most useful tips for all of you heading of to university for the first time in September are to: 
  • keep a diary
  • know your outgoings
  • know your incomings
  • have a weekly budget
A diary or year planner/filofax will be an excellent space to not only jot down what lectures and seminars you have, but it will also give you a space to record when your phone bill or netflix money is going out of your account! This means there shouldn't be any surprises when you go to check your balance and forty pounds has vanished and you can't quite work out why. For some of you, moving to university may mean you are still able to hold down a job (transfers are a thing, so ask employers now before it's too late). This means you'll still have an income other than your student loan and that's an ideal position to be in. Again, make a note of any and all paydays and what hours you work so you are being paid on time and the correct amount. Lastly, having a weekly budget is something that really helped me through first year. It may be tempting to go out and spend your loan on clothes but that's not the best idea, now, is it? It's not that hard to work out your budget either! Take the total amount of loan, minus your expenses (rent), and then divide by the number of weeks you're going to be away from home. This will give you a rough estimate of how much you have per week which you can then divide up into money to be spent on food, money for nights out and 'overflow' money, just in case you have any unexpected charges.

Something to keep in mind is that there are likely to be hidden charges you haven't thought about yet. Required reading may mean you have two - or twenty - books to purchase before term starts. Depending on your degree this could vary. My degree in English meant that for first year I did have to get about twenty books and that can amount to a lot on money. Amazon/Ebay and charity shops are saviours when it comes to reading lists. Buy them as cheap as possible! Also, there are other little things that all add up. Printing assignments and library fees could catch you out.

In my opinion, food is the easiest way to loose money while you're at university. For my first semester the girls and I would order take out, go out to eat and just snack all day while we were at uni. Also, while in my halls the only place to socialise was the kitchen, so we'd snack while we were bored or watching television of a night. Luckily, my campus is very close to a 24 hour ASDA, so food can be quite cheap. My top food tip for anyone going to university would be to learn to cook a variety of things before hand. Simple ingredients go a long way - spagbol, and stir fry can be pretty quick to rustle up and will cost a few pennies a portion.

This post is part of a feature I hope to continue all through summer to help those of you who are off to university in September. I hope it will be of help and I'd love to hear if you think this is a good idea for a permanent feature on my blog!

Em x


  1. Love this post. I will definitely be using these tips when I go to uni next year, absolutely love your blog! :) x x

    1. Thanks so much. Glad to be a help, keep checking back for more uni how to's then, and if there's anything you'd like to see in relation to heading off to uni let me know!! Thanks again, sweet x x

  2. Thanks for sharing, this will be super handy for me, not going to Uni but with weekly lunch money etc! xo lovely blog


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