“Worried About Using Your Overdraft?”
Don’t lose your shit when your loan comes in
Your loan has just come in and you can’t help feeling like you could rule the world. You go out with friends that night and decide to have the pricier option on the menu, buy a round of drinks, or buy that £100 outfit you’ve been eyeing up. You’ll wake up and realise that you’ve spent your weekly budget in one night. Great. Keep it smart and play the long game as soon as it comes in.
Don’t ignore your bank balance
Sign up for bank statements to receive in the post or dedicate yourself to checking it several times a week. Being in denial and being too afraid to look at the dreaded numbers can only make things worse. It also enables you to see that your trips to Sainsbury’s local are adding up.
Have any correspondence with your bank, The Student Loans Company, and, communication with your utilities provider organised and somewhere safe but also to hand. There’s nothing more irritating than having to be on hold whilst trying to remember the answers to the security questions that you can’t understand why you ever chose.
Never do a food shop when you’re starving, resist hangover hunger splurges, and try your best to have a stock of cheap frozen and tinned items. Spending a few hours on a Sunday cooking a massive portion of something like chilli, which you can freeze then re-heat throughout the week, is a great way of saving money on regular shops.
Don’t put off paying for stuff
Bills, rent, library fines, gym membership, credit cards, friends – don’t put this off. When you have the money, do it and get it out of the way. Putting these things off can cause financial, emotional, and unnecessary stress. You’ll never regret doing it.
Booking trains, coaches, tickets to events – you name it – in advance can save you oodles of dosh. When the time comes, you feel like giving your past self a little pat on the back and “thanks!” for being organised and saving money. It’s also nice having things to look forward to, like trips home or visiting friends.
Choosing to walk instead of getting the train or bus you can save a stack of pennies. Avoid getting taxis if possible and always try and find a buddy for the journey; it’ll really make a difference. This also means walking that extra 10 minutes to the shop that does cheaper food or to the place that sells cheaper tickets. Once you get over the lazy mentality, it’s hard to get back into it and you’ll feel great for it.
Do you need that overdraft?
Get your overdraft if you need it to survive and be smart when you do. Don’t view it as free money: that mentality will put you on a slippery slope into sh*tville.
Get that nice productive feeling at the start of term and sit down to have a look at how much money you have to live on, whether you pay rent or not. Divide the money you have in your bank or what’s left after your loan by the weeks in between now and the next time your loan comes in. It’s tempting to only do this until the end of term but what are you going to do in the holidays if you haven’t got a job sorted? You need to have money that allows you to tick over.
Open another account
On from that last point, it can be effective to open a new account which you organise for your budget to be transferred into each week. That way, you can see when you absolutely cannot afford to do anything.
Get a job
Great for your CV, self esteem, making friends, and productivity. Even if you feel you’re “too busy”, yet your bank balance is screaming for help, then perhaps those 6 hours you spend on the sofa each night could be spent earning some much needed cash. Keep an eye on the opportunities we’ll be bringing via our WORKsection
When you live with other people it means you can share the prices of not only bills but those annoying but necessary things in the house, like cleaning equipment, toilet roll, bin liners: you name it. Be a team and muck in together, you’ll appreciate it when you realise you’ve only had to buy one, compared to four, the entire term.