University should be one of the most exciting times of your life. However tuition fees and other costs make many of you wonder whether you will be able to manage financially;
Below you have some tips and advice which will hopefully encourage you to think about the likely costs and the most effective ways to manage them.
Budgeting is the art of keeping your spending under control – but this is not necessarily as simple as it sounds
Therefore, it is important to monitor your spending even when you buy everyday things. These small items soon add up – and it is likely that you will spend more on them than you think. One very easy way to budget as you go today is by using the all new Credit Action ‘Spendometer’. You can download this for free from http://www.spendometer.co.uk/, allowing you to budget easily with your mobile phone.
Budgeting may seem dull, but there are several really good reasons to budget:
1. It gives you an accurate picture of your financial situation.
2. It could well enable you to reduce your spending as you identify certain areas where you are spending too much, and thus improve your overall position.
3. It will show you (and your parents and bank manager!) that you are handling your money wisely.
4. It prevents you running up substantial debt on which you will have to pay interest and which you will have to repay!
Look at your Priorities
Accommodation will be your largest expenditure. If you are in halls of residence be sure to pay the residential fees at the beginning of the term. If you are in outside rented accommodation you could set up a standing order to pay the rent monthly.
Also set aside enough to pay for:
If you are house-sharing, you will need to come to an arrangement with your house mates about how to pay for bills and food.
Pay by Instalments
Utility charges mount up and your quarterly bills can be much higher than you probably anticipate. For these regular bills, it might be easier to spread your payments over the year by paying direct debit monthly.
Monthly bills will mean that you are less likely to face an unexpected or forgotten bill appearing suddenly. Spreading payments will also help you budget – but do ensure that you keep enough money in your account to meet these debits as they arrive each month. The gas or electricity company may even offer you a discount for paying by direct debit!
This is essential – remember that money for tomorrow’s needs is more important than today’s wants. Sometimes this will mean going without things you’d like to have, like the new DVD or that frothy latte but in the long run cutting these things out could save you a lot of difficulties.
*The advice on this page is written in collaboration with Moneymanual by Credit Action.