It is a long long time since I was a student however, I think that good financial housekeeping is often learned and ingrained during those student years so I have asked a fellow blogger who is a Student to give me a hand and she is going to do a regular monthly Student Finance Tips post.
So let me hand you over:
Hello! I am Siân, AKA HelpfulMum. I am a full-time mature student and hope to give you some money-saving advice and tips for managing your money as a student. I think I should concentrate mainly on money management first.
I think I should concentrate mainly on money management first.
You will be paid in three instalments of your student loan. One in October, one in January and one in April. The instalments in January and April will be the biggest (it was in my experience anyway). The only exception to this is the final year, when the April payment will be lower.
What I have found works best for me is to have two separate accounts, one where the loan goes into, kind of like a holding account, and one which I put a monthly amount into. This really helps to budget each month. It means that you know exactly how much you have to spend each month. It also means that you don't spend your entire loan straight off, you have a reserve of money to see you through until the next instalment.
Get a good bank account. Look around, do your research. Check out the comparison sites and make sure you get a bank account with a good overdraft. The majority of student overdrafts are interest free and some increase with each year of your degree. They are usually interest free up to around £1,700. Don't forget that you will have to pay interest on it once you graduate. Then I recommend getting a pre-paid debit card and you can put your monthly allowance on to that.
Once you have your account set up, use your holding account to top up your pre-paid debit card. That way you now have a set budget for the next month. Effectively, you are basically paying yourself a salary every month. I have found it really useful to manage my money like this because I know what is there every month and I am less likely to spend all of my loan straight away. Obviously this doesn't work for everyone, but I would imagine that it will also help with budgeting once you graduate and hopefully find full-time work.