Are your starting to think about the logistics of money at uni? Well, you’re not the only one! So here you have it, some tips, tricks and advice to get you through the summer of saving (that you can take to uni life as a practised pro) from our University Survival Guide:
- Work as much as you can the summer before you start uni so you can begin your new adventure with some money in the bank and take time to settle in and enjoy the process without stressing about finances.
- Keep the money needed for fixed expenses such as regular bills, in a separate bank account and don’t use it for anything else.
- Try to save a small amount every week – it all adds up. $10 a week over a year will give you $520 to pay for a holiday, Christmas presents, medical or dental expenses.
- Before making purchases, think in terms of needs not wants. Is it something you can do without? Can you get it another time?
- Keep receipts for all purchases and money transactions to check against your bank statements.
- Be aware of and try to avoid things that blow out your budget, such as impulse purchases.
- Try not to have a credit card, as they create debt. Only use you debit card instead.
- If your budget shows you are on your way to serious debt, you may need to take action and move to cheaper accommodation or sell your car and use public transport.
- Seek advice. Don’t be embarrassed if your finances hit a few hurdles. Visit your student services centre and ask about talking with a financial planner.
- The trick with your student budget is to make the most of what you’ve got by keeping a lookout for savings opportunities and cutting back wherever possible.
You could and should:
- Keep an eye out for student discounts. Many businesses and services offer great discounts for students from haircuts to meals, to movie tickets to bus fares. It never hurts to ask!
- Cut back the number of times you go out per week and limit how much you spend on a night out.
- Buy food that’s in season. It’s cheaper, healthier and tastes better.
- Look at the number of times you travel home or to friends’ houses and see if there are cheaper travel alternatives. You may need to look at cutting back on your trips.
- Set a maximum limit for your spending on takeaways, gifts and clothes.
- Take your own lunch instead of buying food at work/on campus.
- When you go out – take only a certain amount of cash, and don’t take your card. This will mean you know you only have that amount to spend before going home, without being tempted to just tap and go.