Student loans are handy and helpful for living your life as a student, but they can be difficult to manage if you haven’t had much experience with money before moving away from home. Here are our favourite easy steps to budget a student loan and make your life less stressful in terms of finance.
Make sure you divide your loan up into months
Most student loans will appear in your bank at the start of the semester, this means they will need to last you more than a few weeks. Students who are not good at managing money will see this loan quickly disappear, but for those who want to budget and be careful, we recommend dividing your loan up into months. It will then be easier to see clearly how much money you have per month, per week, and per day if you want to get really into the budgeting scheme of things.
If you do end up running out of money, in an emergency situation you can find short term loans that will last you till payday or student loan day. It isn’t recommended to take a loan that is more than you can afford as you don’t want it to come out of your next student loan as then you could be left with a small amount to live on.
Work out where you can save money
It is worth sitting down and working out exactly where you can save money. It could be on food, alcohol, transport. Your student years are the best time to learn to cook, this might not be doable in the first year when you’re still settling in or maybe you have catered student halls, but in the later years of studying you can save by cooking. Takeaways and eating out can literally eat into your student loan, especially if you are drinking a lot as well. There are lots of websites, cookbooks, youtube channels, and sources to find simple recipes. Working out a weekly budget for food will enable you to have treats without running out of money and draining your loan.
Use a bank app that has a money manager
This is a really useful way to track your spending and divide your money into months, the banking app will do it all for you. Find an app that will allow you to create saving pots, and work out monthly budgets for your outgoings, you can then create a food budget, transport budget, eating out budget, and much more! Having everything handy on your mobile phone is also a bonus.
Get a part-time job so you aren’t relying on the loan
Relying on your student loan as your only source of money is the biggest mistake most students make. Student life will be completely different if you have a job as well as your loan, you don’t need to go into full-time work but having a small income on the side can help cover weekend treats and extras. This isn’t an option for everyone as some courses are fuller-on than others but it’s a good idea to research part time jobs for students that would fit in with your study schedule, for example, babysitting.
We hope these top 4 tips help you budget your student loan and stop you from running out of money by the end of every semester. Good luck with your studies and finance management.