The following is a guest post.
With university becoming more expensive year on year, many parents are opting for junior ISA accounts as a means of putting a savings pot in place to help with university life. But what about those first round of students who are just experiencing the increase in fees. How are they coping?
If that applies to you and money’s starting to become a bit of a drag, here are a few personal finance tips to set you on your way.
Try to save some money in the summer
OK, now this summer has already passed, but you can set this as one of your targets for next year. While the hope for the summer may be as many festivals as you can as well as a trip away, the fact of the matter is you have to save something. Working in term time is doable, but finding that balance between a part time job and studies is difficult. If you’ve built up some savings over the summer, this will really help – just don’t spend it in the first week.
Be careful when opting for a credit card
If you can avoid a credit card then do, as it can be too easy for your debt to spiral out of control. After all you’ve got your student loan to think of too. If you do opt for a credit card be careful, and choose one with a small limit. If you’ve got no income coming in even paying off a few hundred pounds can be difficult.
Check your balance regularly
It’s too easy to just spend on your card or not check your balance when getting cash out. If the only money you’ve got coming in is your student loan and a bit every so often from your parents, you need to keep on top of what you’re actually spending and don’t bury your head in the sand.
This is the most difficult part, but if you want your money to stretch you need to set a budget. Calculate exactly what your expenses are each week and month and put a monthly and weekly budget in place. Save money on food by opting for weekly shops at a budget supermarket rather than buying on the go – you never know you may be able to afford another night out each week.
Choosing the right student account
As a student you’ll be living in your overdraft most of the time, so you need to choose the right account for you. Certain ones that increase incrementally up to a certain limit are a good option, but you need to keep a close check on where you are in relation to the limit.
Spend your student loan wisely
It hits your account and then it disappears. This is a problem suffered by most students throughout their university careers. If it happened to you this year, sort it out for next year.