Budgeting. It sounds so grown up, doesn’t it? Well don’t worry, it’s basically checking you aren’t over
stretching yourself. Like making sure you don’t down fifty shots at the start of the night and end up
vomiting all over a friend’s carpet. But with money instead of Jager Bombs!

Draw up a spreadsheet

Take a look at how much money you receive/earn and then draw up a list of your entire outgoings, for example rent, food, bills etc. This will help you plan your monthly cash-flow in advance and keep you in the green! Also, just in case you ever need to dip into your overdraft (you will – trust me on this one) make sure you are signed up for the best student account available and for the love of cake make sure you have an INTEREST FREE overdraft facility. Otherwise, you could  find yourself paying interest on money you don’t have!

Put a limit on the good stuff

This isn’t sexy, but be strict with yourself on this one, it is so tempting to go to the cinema every week, or get yourself a cheeky takeaway but it all adds up. Netflix, iPlayer and Amazon Prime are much cheaper ways of watching films. You can’t beat the cinema for the experience, but limit yourself to the real blockbusters or when you really need to impress a date. Ditto with takeaways. A frozen pizza is a fraction of the price – but for an occasional treat try to make sure you can still get your favourite greasy goodness. Mine’s a Korma if you’re
buying BTW…

Split up your student loan

It is a bit of a pain that your student loan arrives in your bank account in a big, juicy-looking lump sum. As when you divide this by how many weeks it has to last, it doesn’t look so juicy! Why not open a separate savings account and then set-up a direct debit each month to cover you for the amount you’ve budgeted for. This will hopefully ensure you don’t just blow it all in one glorious week-long binge and end up living off cheese-stained cardboard from your neighbour’s discarded pizza boxes.

Only withdraw money that you need

If you’re going for a night out, work out how much you need and take that amount in cash (LEAVE YOUR CARD AT HOME). Buying a round for everyone when you’re merry might seem like a good idea at the time – but it won’t the next day when you realise you’ve spent next week’s entire budget on a round of overpriced Fosters.

If you’re going out, remember the 3 UB’s

GRUB – eating’s not cheating! And tea at home is cheaper than a midnight kebab.
PUB – cheaper drinks before you head to the…
CLUB – gives you free or discounted entry if you go in early.

Take advantage of student discounts

For this, we aren’t only talking about clothes shopping but also things like council tax. If you are a student, you are exempt from council tax, and if you are living with a non student they will be eligible for a discount. You are also able to claim discounts from some NHS services like prescriptions and eye checks, by  filling in a HC1 low income claim form.

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