Got money on your mind? As a student, I know first hand that money can be difficult to manage sometimes! One way to stop money worries from affecting your mental health is to control your spending habits and understand your finances. Here are my tips for doing just that...
It’s all about control
Whenever you get paid or your student loan comes in, set aside money for rent, travel and other financial commitments. Then give yourself a weekly budget in a separate account or money pot to limit your spending. This is a great way to stay mindful of how much you spend as each day goes by. If you end up having a few quid left over, save it! You wouldn’t believe how much these few pounds can add up, and each time you add to your savings, you will feel more in control of your money.
Don't food shop on an empty stomach!
When you do your food shopping, my best advice is do not go shopping hungry. This is because it’s more likely that you will over-buy food that you may not necessarily eat. Have you ever noticed that suddenly everything looks good to eat when you’re hungry? Exactly! Make sure you eat beforehand and make a shopping list. Again, it’s all about being in control.
Try to save a little each month
Of course not every student will be able to open a savings account, but even if you start with £5 a month, saving is a great way to improve your money mindset. After 12 months, you’ve easily accumulated £60! Saving just a few quid a month is you investing in your future, which you’ll thank yourself for later.
Write down where your money is going
Each day, I recommend writing down what you have spent in a money diary. It will help you to reflect on where most of your money goes. By practising this skill, it will help you to put things into perspective and see where you can cut down on your spending. It truly is the small but frequent transactions that hurt your bank account most. The more organised you are, the calmer you will feel.
Make a meal of it
We all know that learning to cook and avoiding takeaways will save you money, but structuring your meal plans can help you feel more in control too. Why not make cooking tea a social event with people in your household or bubble? This way, not only are you saving money, but you’re spending time with others, which increases your serotonin and benefits your wellbeing. Having said that, it is completely fine to treat yourself time to time, because we all need one sometimes!
Last but not least, if you feel like money is becoming a problem for you, whether you are struggling to stick to a budget, don’t understand what your bank is telling you or you need some advice for planning ahead, the LJMU Money Advice Team is here. They can help advise on the best bank accounts for students, break down all that money jargon and give you professional, confidential advice.
Don’t forget as an LJMU student you get free access to the money management tool Blackbullion. This can help you budget, plan and provide really useful tips for managing your money. You can log on and register today using your LJMU email address and start to take control of your finances!