Final term seems great, financially at least; you’ve already paid most of your rent, you receive a larger portion of your loan and maybe you’ll even have some pennies left from previous terms. That is, until you remember that you have to pay the first instalments of next year’s rent. For me, that comes in the form of a whopping £1000 to be paid at the end of May. There go my summer holiday plans! For those of us who don’t want to ask our parents to bail us out (again), this means some serious budgeting. Here are a few tips on how to make sure your money goes where it’s needed.
- Separate your money.
There are two ways of doing this. One: Paying all the required bills as soon as you receive your loan. Most student houses request rent payments to coincide with the arrival of your loan, so that makes things a little easier. However, if you have future payments that you are aware of but can’t pay straight away, move the required money into a savings account until the payment is due. That way, you’ll be less likely to accidentally spend it. If your bills are not included in your rent, work out an estimate from previous payments and then add a little more to be on the safe side. What you end up not needing can be put towards an end of year blow out or this year’s summer holiday!
- Work out a weekly budget
Once you’ve separated the money you have to commit to that pesky adult task of keeping a roof over your head, divide whatever is left by the number of weeks you need it to last. This will allow you a rough guideline for how much you can spend each week on food, nights out and sneaky jager bombs at the club. Whether you stick to this religiously or use it as a rough outline is up to you. I would recommend reworking this every few weeks as you’ll inevitably have weeks that are more expensive than others. You never know, you might even be able to up your budget as the term progresses.
- Write it down
All of it. If you’re anything like me, having things written down makes it all a lot more manageable. When it comes to budgeting, I like to make a note of all my expenses (rent, bills, upcoming travel costs etc) and my incoming money (loan, grants, any wages I’m earning). Not only does it stop me from forgetting (or living in denial about) any outgoing expenses, I find it gives me a lot more freedom as I don’t have to stress about accidentally exceeding my budgets. I know exactly what I can spend, and I often even manage to put a little away for future use!
So, there you have it, a few tips on strategies that I find useful when it comes to budgeting. In next week’s blog, I’ll be considering ways to cut your expenses and live frugally! As always, if you have any questions or comments, be sure to drop me a message below!