We all know how tight for cash we get at the end of the term, but this last loan installment has to do us until the beginning of the next academic year, that includes nearly 4 months of holiday! If you’re spending more than you actually have, it’s so easy to run out of cash and look to your friends, parents or even worse, credit cards to bail you out.
While this might be an option for the ‘Daddy will pay’ minority, we can’t all bat our eyelids and be rewarded with cash. Borrowing money might help in the short term, you’re just building up your ever growing debts and not learning how to stand on your own two feet. Instead, have a look at these tips which might just help you claw yourself out of that interest free overdraft.
Tip 1: Keep a track of what you’re spending money on
This sounds like a really boring task, but keeping a note of what you’re spending really does help. Even though you have your bank account at easy access on your phone, it’s so easy to lose track of what you’re spending that hard earned student loan on. Keeping a note of what you’ve actually spend your money on means that you know exactly how much money you’ve spent, and more importantly, how much money you have left! It’s so easy to forget on an impromptu trip to West Quay that you can’t really afford to buy a new jacket, but it’s on sale. Knowing how much money you have really helps you keep that money going until the next installment.
Tip 2: Work out how much you’ve got and how much you need
This is a really simple task, but knowing how much money you need to put aside for your ridiculously expensive rent and bills means that they don’t bounce and that your credit history remains strong and untarnished. On top of this, include your day to day spending and your emergency drink limit. This can be done on paper, but if you’re really tech savvy you can chuck it all on a spread sheet and it can even do the maths for you! If your spending money looks massive compared to your household money then you know that you need to sort out your priorities! This might mean only going out to the Palace of Dreams on a Monday and Sobar on a Tuesday, but every little really helps!
Tip 3: Start Budgeting
Of course we all hope that the money that comes into our account is never ending, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. If that money doesn’t cover all of your costs, you’re going to have to make some changes. This might mean having to only spend your money on Sainsbury’s basics for a month, but it adds up! Try and cut unnecessary items out of your life, or at least shop around to find a cheaper alternative. If boozing is a key part of your social life, then try and have one heavy night in every so often at a house party! If you want, host them and get those that pass out to clean your house, what the heck, put your feet up in the morning and make them do your washing up too!
Tip 4: Put your credit card away and pay for things in cash!
It is now so easy to spend money on your card, especially now with contactless technology. Clubs have even started installing them so that you can pay for drinks on your card and not even get a receipt so that you have no idea how much you’re spending whilst being completely intoxicated! If you only carry cash, it may sound silly, but you actually know how much hard cash you have. I don’t know why, ask a student that studies psychology, but the presence of physical cash makes us more wary of what we are spending it on! Trust me, if you deal with purchases in cash you will spend less. Just make sure you don’t take out hundreds of pounds at a time!
Tip 5: Make some subtle changes
Instead of spending all of your money in the SUSU food outlets during the day, invest in food that you can make packed lunches in the morning. Even though you may enjoy your outing to the shop to listen to the brilliant music, it is a massive drain on your wallet if you’re doing it every day. On top of this, why do you keep lying to yourself, you’ve been to the gym once in a blue moon. Cancel that membership and keep the money. There are so many ways that you can ‘keep fit’, walk up church lane a couple of times, and if you want to go swimming, check out the pond on the common. If you want to swim in a germ ridden body of water, where the top inch consists of every other swimmers body fat, piss and skin then that’s the place for you! Also, stop getting the bus everywhere you lazy git! Southampton is actually quite small and a walk into town only takes 20-25 minutes from Highfield Campus, so stop being lazy, and to all those who bus it from Portswood to campus, seriously…
Tip 6: Get a job
I know this is easier said than done, but if you don’t apply, you won’t get any extra money coming through. It isn’t hard to update your CV and to write a covering letter bullshitting why you’d be brilliant for the job. Especially seeing as there is such a long break over summer, it would be silly to just sit around doing nothing, never mind how tempting that may seem. Also in the long term, job experience may help you to get a better job once you graduate!
If you take note of these tips and follow them through, then come September, you’ll hopefully not be scrapping the bucket for those extra pennies. Got any other ideas? Let us know in the comments below.
Read more money saving tips here