Our top five money tips
Life is expensive and everything costs money, so let’s talk about it! Over at the Student Funding and Financial Support team (pictured below) we’ve put together some tips of how to get the most out of yours.
1. Consider budgeting
Yawn! When you think of budgeting, you may think of a spreadsheet listing all the things that you can’t have and you’ll have to start counting pennies. But it doesn’t need to be like that.
Blackbullion have created a budget calculator meaning budgeting is now a lot simpler. You just need 15 minutes to sit down and work out your incomings and outgoings. Seeing where all your money is going might lead to some financial realisations!
For example, buying lunch every day might not seem like much, but in the long run it could really add up.
Let’s say it costs £3.50 and you buy one 5 days a week. That’s £17.50.
Now think what this is over the course of a year… £910! That could get you a few holidays!
Budgeting isn’t about being frugal. It’s about being realistic and working out your necessary costs so you can see what you have left over for other luxuries. It’s a great way to start your financial well-being journey.
2. Set up your emergency fund
Life is full of surprises so it’s always a sensible idea to set aside some money for anything unexpected. Paying in an amount of money each month into a separate pot or account gives you a safety net so that you don’t need to dip into your savings and create extra stress.
When you create your student budget, try to work out how much you can afford to set aside so that you can pay into your emergency fund, and aren’t left short on cash for everyday purchases.
3. Cooking on a budget by meal planning
Spend some time looking at student or ‘meals on a budget’ recipes. By planning out your meals you’ll find that you will only buy what you need from the supermarket rather than just picking up items while you shop. We all tend to spend more on food when we shop this way. You may also find that this shopping style reduces the amount that goes to waste each week. This way you’re being savvy and sustainable!
Learning to make staple, easy meals will allow you to use the same ingredients for several different healthy meals. Plus, if you have any leftovers from a meal, pop it in the freezer for a rainy day. Rather than spending money on a takeaway, just take a meal out for when you can’t be bothered to cook. This also applies if you’re on a busy work schedule, by pre-planning you’ll have extra time and money. A double win!
You can also ask one of your housemates if they’d like to buddy up and bulk buy and share meals too!
4. Discover student discounts
There are a range of different discounts out there so it’s always a good idea to see if you’re eligible for them. Have a look at sites such as UNiDAYS, Student Beans and TOTUM (you can buy your TOTUM card from the Students’ Union). You’ll find a range of different discounts from food to travel to fashion that you can use.
5. Find out about support available at Herts
If you need to talk about money issues, the Student Funding and Financial Support are here to help. We offer one to one drop in-sessions for home students who find themselves in financial difficulty. For more information and to see the services we provide, have a look at our Ask Herts page. We’re here to help!