Monday, 23 September 2013

Monay Monday #1- Student Loan Day

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This is a new series that I am starting on my blog as for students, money is (or should be!) always at the forefront of your mind. For most students, their first student loan instalment is the most money that they have ever had in their bank at one time and the temptation to immediately go out and splurge is overwhelming (trust me!) but before you do, here are a few of the expenses that you will most likely encounter in the next few months (I'm not trying to scare you, I just want you to be prepared)

1. Rent
The biggest proportion of your loan will probably go on rent (particularly if you live away from home) and if you live with your parents then you should offer to pay some keep, a big part of university is learning how to handle your finances!

2. Books
Now I am not saying go out and buy every single textbook that your lecturers mention but I found buying the two core textbooks for my degree was a very good move as come deadline day, these things were like gold dust in the university library! In terms of books that will only be useful for a short time, USE THE LIBRARY, whilst you may not be able to get your hands on the book immediately after the lecture, you will be able to get your hands on a copy before you have an exam on the topic!

3. Food
If you want to live off something other than supernoodles and beans on toast then you will need to allow £10- £15 a week for your food shopping.

4. Nights out
The costs of these can escalate quickly and the best advice I can give you is to LEAVE YOUR BANK CARD AT HOME- take out how much cash you can honestly afford to spend on your night out, and remember to put some money aside for a taxi home (if you need one!)

These are the main expenses that I came across in my first term but there are of course other expenses like buying printer credits, days out (you and your new friends will more than likely want to explore your new town or city), birthdays, public transport (remember  to budget for your train ticket home at Christmas if you need to).

If you have never budgeted before then my best advice is to take away all your known expenses from your student loan- things like rent, phone bills, books you need to buy etc and then divide the leftover amount by the number of weeks your loan has to last you.

In the next few weeks I will be doing a post on how I do my budget so stay tuned!

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