Here, our Student Advice and Wellbeing’s Money Advice Team Leader, James Forshaw, gives us his advice on how to manage your budget, as well as money saving tips for the future.
Take your student finance seriously
When you receive your loan, it's important to calculate all your living costs and rent that needs to be taken out of it. Whatever is left over can then be used to work out a weekly budget. When it comes to managing money, some students find it easier to have two bank accounts - one to receive finance, and the other to act as an 'allowance pot' and to pay bills - while others might prefer to keep track of one account as they go along. Your budget is fluid, so it is vital that you don't shy away from checking your budget each week - and that means opening your banking apps to review them on a regular basis.
Research ways to maximise your income
Have you looked for part-time work and applied for any scholarships or bursaries you may be eligible for? The LJMU Student Futures: Careers, Employability and Enterprise team has careers advisors on hand who can help you find part time work to fit around your course and complement your CV. Book an appointment with them here.
Also worth a look is the grant search function on Turn2us, this is a database of Trusts and Charities around the UK.
Always ask for student discount
Remember many organisations in Liverpool, and online, offer student discounts. So, before you buy, google the brand or product to check what price cuts might be available. Just don't forget to apply any codes necessary at checkouts to make use of the offers.
Pre-loved or second-hand wins
Buying second-hand books and pre-loved clothing is not only more sustainable and better for the environment, but it helps your bank balance out too. Get into the habit of checking if you can buy items from charity, vintage, or pre-loved sites before you pay full price.
Review your spending habits
We have said it before, and we'll say it again: check your bank balance and statements regularly. Keeping track of your spending is the best way to keep on top of your finances. It will help you see if there are things you could cut down on or swap for a cheaper alternative to make your money stretch a bit further.
Get a money saving budgeter or app
There are many budgeting apps available for your phone and most bank accounts also offer them too. The Money Advice Service also has a budget planner tool where you can record all your spending and plan for the year ahead. LJMU also has a partnership with www.blackbullion.com who will give you a head start with budgeting, why not register with them today?
Visit the SAW Money Advice team
Remember, our Money Advice Team is here to help. You can book 1:1 appointments to chat all things finance-related via My LJMU app or here or in person at The Student Life Building.
These tips are great for helping to manage your money and taking the stress out of budgeting, but don’t just take our word for it! Here is what LJMU students have said helps them to save the pennies:
· Book travel home well in advance to get the best deals
· Money off vouchers only save you money if you need the thing in the first place - don't use them as an excuse to buy things you don't really need
· Bring a packed lunch to uni a couple of days a week, you could save a whopping £500+ a year
· Remember takeaways are not sustainable on your finite budget. Plan your meals and don’t impulse buy at the supermarket because you are hungry.
· Work out your budget weekly rather than monthly, it is easier to manage