Are you struggling to stay in good shape financially as a student? Here are some tips that will help you manage your money more effectively.
Set Up A Budget
When you're exploring how to manage your money effectively as a student, your first step should always be a budget. A budget will tell you how much you will need to pay each month and how much you will have available to spend. You can also plan a larger budget for each semester or school year. To do this, work out the total amount of money that will be incoming. This includes your loan, a part-time job and any potential interest on bank accounts or other side hustles. This is your total income, but you will have bills. You might need to factor in food shopping, rent, and the internet. Once you have totalled this amount, you can then subtract it from the incoming and you will have the amount you can spend.
Of course, it's a smart idea to corner off at least a small amount for savings. As well as ensuring it's easier to pay back your student loan, you can use this for unexpected costs through the year. Or, you can put it towards your holiday fund.
Consider A Part Time Job
While a part-time job won't be suitable for everyone, it can be beneficial for a few reasons. First, it ensures that you have a larger disposable income which can be an advantage when you have numerous bills through university. Second, it can help ensure that you can take out a smaller student loan. This will mean it's easier to pay back. You can also guarantee that you are not green coming out of university and this will make you more desirable to employees, boosting your chances or getting a significantly larger income.
Use Student Bank Accounts
Student bank accounts are beneficial because they often provide a higher level of interest. This means that you can get more, even when you save a little each month. Student bank accounts can also provide favourable overdrafts that can be interest-free. You can typically access this type of bank account as soon as you get your UCAS confirmation letter.
There are also freebies and exclusive offers that come with different student bank accounts. You should also make sure that you are switching to a graduate account once you finish university for similar benefits. You can quickly compare student bank accounts listed on Lending Expert.
Consider Student Credit Cards
You might think that credit cards are a bad idea when you’re a student. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Don’t forget that after university, you could be looking for both a place to rent and potentially a home to buy. A great credit score will make this significantly easier and more affordable. One of the ways to improve your credit score is to borrow. So, you should use a credit card to buy products or services that you know you will be able to pay back on time. This gives you a great record and ensures that you appear financially reliable.
There is also a fantastic range of credit cards that you can choose from. For instance, you can get a zero-interest credit card. Cards like this mean that you won’t pay interest on your purchases for a fixed period - usually up to two years.
Students may wonder whether they can even access credit cards with no credit rating or income approval. Well, student credit cards do provide for this possibility. However, they may charge higher interest rates. This is to cover the increased risk and it’s why you need to be careful when you’re using a card like this. However, student credit cards tend to provide a low credit limit, ensuring that you don’t borrow more than you can afford to pay back. They also offer reward schemes such as cashback and points based on loyalty.
Manage Your Debts
You need to make sure that you are not letting debts build up. This isn't about your student loan as this will have a low-interest rate and you only need to start paying it off once you reach a certain income. Instead, you need to consider other debts that you might accumulate. Pay them off on time and keep them under the right level of control. Borrowing can be useful for larger purchases. However, if you are borrowing to pay for typical monthly spends such as a food shop, this can be a warning sign.
We hope this helps you keep your finances under control as a student. This will ensure that you are in a strong position for the future as well as during your time at university!
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