Hi there! My name is Alex and I'm currently undertaking my Creative Writing PhD at the University of Lincoln. I'm a big fan of lots of streaming services, books, and am a published poet! I aspire to be a multi-genre,…
Moving out of your home life and into an independent setting such as university can be daunting for a number of reasons, not least because now you’re going to have to think about how to support yourself financially during your studies. This article is going to go into how best you can organise your finances so you’re never caught short, and so it’s a whole lot less stressful!
Separate Rent & Tuition
The great majority of you will likely be making use of the student loans provided by Student Finance England, which are separated into tuition and maintenance loans. When you’re an undergraduate your tuition fee will be transferred straight to the uni, so you don’t need to worry about it – however if you’re coming to Lincoln as a postgraduate you will need to ensure you separate out your tuition fee from the loan you receive. Also for all students, I highly recommend separating the funds you’ll need for your accommodation rent. By keeping this essential money separate, it will help you to better manage your actual spending money without being tempted to dip into your essential living funds.
Food Shopping – Loyalty Card
Besides rent and tuition, the most important thing you will spend money on is the food you eat. It would be very useful for you to figure out where you want to do your regular food shop and stick to that place, and take advantage of whatever loyalty card/scheme they have going on. If you choose Tesco for example, you should absolutely get one of their Tesco Club cards so you can take advantage of discounts, which will save you money in the long run and allow you to feel more comfortable with your finances.
Splitting Bills With Friends
A great way to keep your finances stable, whilst still treating yourself, is to split bills with friends wherever possible. This can include grocery shopping with your roommates if you want to do some bulk cooking for the week, or sharing the costs of a night (or a few nights) out. Also, if you feel close enough with your roommates, you can always share appliances rather than everyone investing in their own kettle or air fryer or other unique kitchenware, so you’re all able to make use of those things without all of you breaking the bank. This could also apply to streaming services – if you have Netflix but your friend has Disney+ you can add each other to your accounts, so you can enjoy both without having to spend extra.
It is generally advised for undergraduates that you shouldn’t be working when you’re doing your degree, because your time will be really taken up by the workload and having a job on top of that will feel overwhelming. However, if you do want to earn a little extra money then you reach out to us here at Student Life! Whether it be writing articles, filming videos/TikToks, helping out on open days, or the countless other things we do, it’s always worth reaching out to see what’s available – the hours are what you want them to be, so you can work a few hours around your studies when you have the time, and it’ll be a little extra money in the bank!
All these points have been really useful to me over the years when I’ve been trying to manage my finances, but if you feel that you need more help then please do reach out to our advisors, particularly in the finance area of the University’s Advice Centre. If you follow the link here – https://lincolnsu.com/advice/finance – you can find information on student finance, university financial assistance funds, advice on debt management, sources of income, and there are links to where you can book an appointment with someone or otherwise get in touch. Whatever anxieties or issues you may be facing with your finances, here you will definitely find the help you need.