Budgeting – Things that are important to consider

Moving to uni and finding that you have limited income and lots of outgoing payments that you might not be…

Moving to uni and finding that you have limited income and lots of outgoing payments that you might not be used to can be scary, this is why budgeting is really important.

There are two key areas you need to think about:

1. How much money do you have coming in?

This is a really important starting point! This part will be different for everyone because there are different factors to look at:

  • How much do you get each time you get a loan instalment? – Make sure you also know when each loan instalment is due so you can see how long your loan needs to last.
  • Do you get any extra grants from the university?
  • Do you have a job alongside university?
  • Do you get any money from family members?

2. How much money do you have going out?

Remember there are a lot of things you need to factor into this category:

  • Accommodation – also consider how you will be paying your rent e.g. are payments in line with loan instalments or are they monthly?
  • Are bills included in your rent payments for your accommodation?
  • Do you pay for things like Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Prime?
  • Food and household items
  • Social activities – drinks, food, sports events, cinema etc.
  • Society membership fees
  • Academic resources – textbooks, equipment etc.

4 things I found useful to make sure budgeting was easier at uni

Cook food from scratch – It’s understandable that you might not always want to do this if you fancy a takeaway or a quick meal after a long day, but cooking meals from scratch is a great way of saving money and staying healthy at the same time!

Use student discounts wherever possible – Never hesitate to ask if somewhere offers a student discount, there are more places than you think! Use apps like Unidays and Student Beans online and in-person, along with your student ID card.

Buy things second-hand – There are loads of charity shops in Lincoln which are absolutely worth a visit. Also, I’d recommend downloading the Vinted app and Depop, along with using Facebook Marketplace and local Facebook groups to find second-hand clothes, homeware and uni supplies!

Don’t forget that there will be more outgoing payments at different times in the year – With Christmas quickly approaching you are likely to face more outgoing costs than usual, so make sure you anticipate and plan for this. It might mean not having a takeaway for a few weeks or turning down a night out, but part of budgeting is to remember that plans and activities do need to change from time to time, and you don’t want to miss out on buying a family member a Christmas present!

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