The final term at university can also be the most expensive. The warmer weather has arrived, restrictions have eased and you're finally able to have a good time in your university city. Just one problem... your finances. Stretching your student loan over summer can be a challenge but the key to living comfortably and not missing out on any social events is to manage your student budget effectively. Take a look at few of our top tips for managing your student loan this summer...
Set A Weekly Budget
It's important to give yourself a weekly student budget, this will be how much money you've got left to spend on all non-essential things each week:
- Work out your total income for the period you need it to last.
- Minus your essential expenses for the same period.
- Divide the number you're left with by the number of weeks in said period.
Once you've done this, you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on trips out, takeaways, sightseeing and all bottomless brunches you desire! This will also help you prioritise the things you really want to do over the summer. If you're desperate to visit Alton Towers with your mates, skip out on a couple of non-essential meals out and cook cheap at home.
Open A Second Bank Account
You will receive your student loan as lump sums throughout the year, therefore it's easy to spend it all at once and not budget accordingly to ensure you have enough money until you receive your next installment. By opening a second bank account it will allow you to transfer or Direct Debit a small amount into your current account each week and avoid overspending. Many students open accounts with banks like Monzo for their budgeting tools. Otherwise, there are plenty of apps like Yolt which will help you tighten your purse (or wallet) strings if needed.
As soon as you know what you're doing, plan ahead to ensure you have enough money for everything you want to do over the summer. This includes knowing which nights you're eating out on to avoid buying in food and wasting it because you've made last-minute plans to eat out. Obviously, you might not know all your plans in advance, particularly with changing restrictions, but it's worth pinpointing the more expensive ones to prepare your finances beforehand - for example birthday celebrations, weekends away or visiting tourist attractions.
Find The Best Student Offers
Make the most out of your student discount card and regularly check websites such as NUS, UNIDAYS, Student Hut and Student Beans for the latest student deals, offers and discounts. It's easy to forget about all the discounts you can access as a student, but it's well worth refreshing your memory. Asking shops and restaurants at the till when you're out and about can save you a chunk of money. Many places will also provide happy hours or limited deals at non-peak times, so make the most of your free timetable and visit when there's deals on!
Recycling textbooks, clothing, electronics or anything you don't use anymore is the perfect option to make a little bit of extra dosh. This can easily be done by tapping into local Facebook groups or apps and websites including Depop, Ebay and We Buy Books.
Think Twice Before Spending
Before making a purchase ensure you are spending your money on something you need rather than want. Can you re-wear an outfit rather than purchasing a brand new one? Try and keep clothing purchases to special occasions rather than every night out. If you do want to spend, go thrift shopping! There are so many hidden gems these days - you could bag yourself a very trendy outfit for less than a fiver.
At true student all bills are included within your rent which makes budgeting that bit easier. You also have full access to all of our social spaces and a range of regular events at no extra cost. Make the most of it and join us for a summer of fun!