Looking after your money as a student is a big responsibility. It can be difficult to keep on top of things, but these handy student money tips will help you keep your finances under control.
The biggest and most important bit of advice we can give you is to budget properly. An honest and practical budget will help you to avoid overspending and will also make it easier to plan for the future. Keeping a daily track of the items you buy will give you an idea of how much money you are actually spending and will assist you with setting a realistic budget.
We’ve put together some information on the cost of living as a student in Nottingham for you to get you started. But think about what matters to you too – where do you spend your money – after all, this is your budget.
Remember, our Student Financial Support Team are on hand to give you any extra help and advice you need. If you do find yourself in financial trouble, it’s vitally important you speak to someone. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse, and we really can support you with any financial problems.
We recommend you work out your budget on a weekly basis because it’s the easiest to keep track of – but there’s nothing wrong with working out yearly, monthly or even daily budgets too, if that’s best for you. It will all help you to keep your finances in order.
Whichever way you choose to calculate your budget, be really thorough. An incomplete or inaccurate budget could result in your finances getting out of your control. Take your time and list everything – you won’t regret it.
You can also use this budget planner to help you get everything worked out properly.
Figure out exactly – to the penny – what money you have coming in. Only include money that you are absolutely certain you will receive. And be aware of how and when you will receive your money – for example if you have a part-time job are you being paid weekly or monthly? Do you receive termly loan payments? Is this topped up by a weekly or monthly contribution from your parents?
Start by working out how much you spend on the essentials – rent, food, bills, and travel costs. We’ve put together a guide on the cost of living as a student in Nottingham which will help. Once you’ve done this you'll know how much you have left over for other expenses, such as entertainment and clothes. How much you spend on these will vary person to person, but these are areas where it's possible to make savings.
Once you’ve added up all your incomings and outgoings, what do you have left? If you have some money left over, don’t just rush to spend it! Consider putting this surplus away in a savings account. It can be really useful to have some money tucked away for emergencies.
If, on the other hand, you have a deficit, you need to look at ways of either reducing your spending, or increasing your income. Our guide to working as a student can help you find ways to bring more money in, and we also have loads of handy tips on how to reduce your outgoings.
The amount you spend each month – and possibly your incomings, too – are bound to change, so keep checking your budget and revising the figures. By doing this, you’ll keep on top of your finances, leaving you free to enjoy your time at university, which is the main thing!
Remember, though, if you do encounter any financial problems, speak to us. We’re here to help.
Our team are located in the Newton and Arkwright building on our City Campus. Appointments are also available at the Clifton Campus and Brackenhurst Campuses. They can support you with any financial problems you’re having, so don’t be afraid of getting in touch. Give them a call on +44 (0)115 848 2494 or email if you need any financial support or advice.