As it’s National Student Money Week, we thought now would be the best time to share some wisdom on budgeting. As they say, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves! Making your money cover your rent, bills, food, course materials and your social life can be a bit of a stretch, but with the tips below and help from our Student Services team, you can make your money go a surprisingly long way.
1. There’s an app for that!
There are plenty of budgeting apps out there to choose from. Spendee allows you to keep track of your money and you can connect the app with your online banking, where it will download and categorise your transactions so you can see how much you’re spending on food, bills, rent and shopping.
It will also show you the locations you spend money and you can put together a budget for the week or month ahead. The app will track it and show you how much you have left of your budget. Pretty nifty, right?
Spendee is free to download on the iOS app store and Google Play store.
2. Shop smart
Our student Digital Ambassador, Sarah, recently wrote about her shopping tips and tricks for saving money and getting good value for money too. From checking the reduced aisles to planning your meals for the week or going meat-free for a day, take a look at Sarah’s shopping tips to keep your food costs down.
3. Speak to the experts
We’re lucky to have our Student Life Advisers based on our Ipswich campus to help with your questions about finance, as well as other various aspects of student life. Our advisers will be down in the Waterfront Building foyer (Ipswich) for National Student Money Week on Thursday 15 February 10am-2pm but can also be contacted through the Student Services team if you would like further guidance.
The University has also recently partnered with Blackbullion, who are able to deliver free advice and guidance to you about managing finances. Simply register with Blackbullion by using your student email address.
4. Student discount
Big tip here - make the most of student discount while you can! Sign up for an NUS card available from the Students’ Union stand at the Waterfront Building on Thursday 15 February or via our SU website.
Student discount is offered across a range of well-known brands, shops, restaurants, cafes and entertainment with many brands offering 10-20% off. With a little help from student discount, you might be able to buy yourself something with the money you save. Bonus, right?
If you happen to be a regular train user, don’t forget you can also take advantage of the student travel cards around including the 16-25 railcard offering a third off rail fares.
5. Learn from your peers
Some top tips from previous students, taken from our ‘managing your money’ booklet:
Save money on your phone: “Get a SIM only contract when your current contract finished and you’ll soon realise you didn’t need a new phone!”
Preparation is key: “Plan ahead and take lunch boxes to work/uni.”
Split the cost: “Cook together with your housemates!”
Cash not card: “Take out a set amount of cash for the week…and then hide your debit card.”
Feeling thrifty? “Re-use your disposable coffee cups to plant seeds and use the stirrer as a plant label and the lid as a tray.”
Make sure you check out the National Student Money Week activities in the Waterfront Building foyer on Thursday 15 February (10am-2pm). Comment below with your top tips for budgeting and any apps you use to help you!