02/09/2021

Categories: Undergradute

7 Essential Tips to Help You Budget at University

Clueless in managing university costs? Not to worry, heres some sound advice for first-time students!

Budgeting at university may not sound like fun, but its an important life lesson, one that you can only truly experience when you live away from home without your parents. But keeping an eye on your money doesnt have to be a drag. Youll have plenty of support at the University of Bolton, and its not too late to apply!

Read on for our top 7 tips for managing university costs, or go to our Clearing website to see what courses are still available for a September start.

1. Shop around for a good overdraft

Student overdrafts are a lifesaver, and they are one of the best forms of borrowing while you are away from home. But they arent all created equal. Some are better than others, so always shop around before you sign on the dotted line.

Interest-free overdrafts essentially allow you to borrow for free in an agreed period, helping you manage university costs when things are tight. But remember it still has to be paid back, so keep it for short-term cash-flow problems only.

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2. Set your monthly allowance

The first step to managing your finances effectively is to create a budget, one that calculates your income and estimated outgoings. Remember, fixed university costs such as accommodation and bills will never change and have to be accounted for first.

After you have worked out how much money you have left at your disposal, you can set yourself an allowance for food, shopping and socialising. 

If you want step-by-step advice on building your budget, see this helpful guide by Save The Student.

3. Use apps to keep an eye on your money

Now here comes the hard part. Setting your budget is one thing, but sticking to it is another. Luckily, there are many apps out there that can help you manage your money on the go.

Some of the best ones include Squirrel, Money Dashboard, Emma, Yolt, Splitwise, Chip, and Moneyhub. These are designed to give you complete visibility of your cash, helping you manage your finances better.

4. Avoid credit cards

Getting store cards or using a credit card to pay for things can be tempting, but they charge very high interest rates. If you fall behind with payments, it could damage your credit score too.

While theyre great for emergencies, credit cards can be dangerous. So think very carefully about whether you absolutely need one. If you do, reserve it for emergencies and dont make a habit of using it.

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6. Ask about student discounts

Dont forget to use your NUS Extra Card to get discounts in shops, bars and restaurants. If you dont see a sign, make sure you ask. Even if they dont accept NUS cards, they may be able to advise on other student offers available.

You can find a list of nationwide student food and drink discounts here.

7. Don’t be afraid to get help

Worried about keeping on top of university costs or need advice on budgeting? Come and talk to us!

At the University of Bolton, we put students, and their needs first. As well as providing a friendly and supportive learning environment, we offer guidance and a friendly face in your time of need. Our Funding Advice Team is here to help you keep your finances on track while you study!

For the past three years our students have voted us No.1 for Student Satisfaction in the North West*. Plus, for four years running weve also been a Top 6 UK university for Teaching Quality in The Times Good University Guide.**

Its not too late to apply! See our Clearing website for available courses!

Or if you have further questions, call our dedicated Clearing number +44 (0)1204 896936 and talk to a member of our team.

 

*Complete University Guide in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019, North West region

**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, 2020 and 2019

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