Budgeting Top 10 Tips
1. Make a budget and stick to it!
Not the most fun of tasks we know, but being realistic and forward planning is what is going to keep your finances in order throughout your time at Strathclyde. Plus getting into good habits now will really help you in the future. See our Budgeting & Financial Health page for budgeting guidance.
2. Have a “Stuff I Forgot” Category
Even the most careful planers can forget something, unexpected costs can appear at any time so it’s always good to put something aside for miscellaneous items, that way you won’t get a shock when an unplanned bill etc. comes your way.
3. Sign up for Online Banking
Most banks also have an app for your phone now too, this way you can easily keep track of how much you are spending. Make sure you log in every few days to check your account and remember that sometimes it can take a few days for card transactions to show up.
4. Plan Your Meals
Make a plan for what you will be having eating for the week and ONLY buy what you need for these meals. This is a great way to curve over spending; it’s much easier to throw a treat in your basket if you are going to the shop every day. Try this website to see which supermarkets have deals on what you are looking for.
Talk with your flatmates about sharing cooking responsibilities; it’s a great way to save money and to learn about new dishes. Could you set up a kitty for toilet roll washing up liquid etc.? It will save you money and help avoid flatmate drama!
6. Student Discounts
Get yourself an NUS Extra Card, there are loads of places that offer student discounts – don’t be afraid to ask! 10% here and there can cut down costs in the long run. It’s also worth checking out cashback and voucher websites so see if you can save.
7. Small Changes Count
Do you really need that £3 coffee every morning? Could you get up 10 minutes earlier and walk to Uni rather than getting the bus? Although the amounts can seem small, over a year the savings can be well in the hundreds. Have a look and see if you can make any small pain free savings, they can make a bigger difference than you think.
8. Compare and Switch
There are loads of money saving websites out there that give excellent advice on comparing and switching your utility providers, broadband, mobiles, credit cards and much more. Our favourites are Uswitch, MoneySuperMarket and Compare the Market.
9. Avoid Pay Day Loans
They may appear to offer a quick fix to short term money problems but the truth is not so rosy. The interest rates are usually sky high and this can mean you end up paying back far more than you needed to borrow. This only causes more financial problems down the line and can have a really negative impact on your credit score.
10. Ask for Help
If you can see your finances not starting to add up please come and ask for some help. It can be really scary to admit that things aren’t going well but it’s so much easier to deal with the problem before it becomes a total crisis. The Advice Hub is confidential and totally non-judgemental so please do come and talk to us.