Budgeting: when your student loan isn't going far enough



By Josie Roberts, Online Living Editor

There is a university student trope everywhere that we all live off baked beans, pasta and toast. Whilst that may be the case for some, here are three tips on budgeting if the student loan doesn't seem to be going far enough.

1) Separate your pot of money with your spending money

What I do is simple. Have your student loan in your savings account and then every week - whether that's on a Monday or Friday - send over your budget for the week. I send over £50 for food and going out. When I want to buy clothes or anything bigger than everyday needs, I have to physically go onto my banking app and transfer the money over to my main account. This hassle, makes me think "do I really need this ASOS haul?" and more often than not, I won't end up spending the money.

2) Keep track

There are LOADS of apps you can get your hands on to track your money. Monzo, Sterling, and Loot all give you a card that you put money on and can spend as usual just with the added bonus that you can visually see where your money is going. By being able to see that the majority of your money is being spent on going out or eating out, you honestly start to reassess your priorities. You start to budget. Less Deliveroo equals more money to spend on what you really want, not what you can't be bothered to make yourself. I also started using Sterling and it has a really useful savings feature which enables you to start saving for the bigger things like holidays. Summer is coming!

See related article: Monzo: student finance made easy

3) Start online food shopping

This may be seen as quite a luxurious and lazy way to shop but you can save a lot of money. Firstly, when you go food shopping in your chosen supermarket you are surrounded by smells, sights and mazes all luring you in. This is the product of millions of pounds of investment into consumer psychology to get the customer to spend more money. Do you ever shop to think why they have on-site bakeries? It's not just for convenience. It is all part of their strategy.

Flickr /Pawel Loj

Online food shopping stops this as you don't set foot in the shop. You go online and search directly for what you want and need. You don't walk past aisles of yummy looking food and spontaneously grab little extras which add up but instead get what you actually want.

If the minimum delivery order price is out of your price range, then get your flatmates and pool together to order as a collective. It's saving you all a lot of time and money. I did it in my first year and although there was one ocassion when my male flatmate did grab my box of tampons and in a display of embarassment proclaimed to the entire foyer and delivery man that they were definitely mine, it has all gone smoothly. New orderers can also get money off for their first orders at most supermarkets so I would recommend you looking into that before you checkout.

See related article: Supermarket Tricks You Still Fall For, Reader's Digest

Hopefully, these tips will help you get your student loan to stretch just a little bit further that usual! But remember, university is for fun and don't restrict yourself of experiences that you would otherwise enjoyed!

Featured image: Flickr / CafeCredit.com

Do you have any tips for budgeting? We want to know!

Facebook / Epigram / Twitter


Josie Roberts

Online Living Editor 2017/18 and 2018/19 Studying English