How to: Budget

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By Leah Martindale, Film and Tv Editor

The Croft Magazine // There are a few things you can do to spread the pennies a bit further as you wait for the loan to drop

University is lauded as one of the best times of your life, which it can be, but the reality is that it is also one of the most expensive. For many students their loan doesn’t even cover rent, but even for those like me whose household income afforded them the very best Student Finance has to offer, living in Bristol can be extortionately expensive. As I enter my fourth year, I’d like to think I’ve picked up some hints and tips on the way to not break the bank.‌‌

Separate accounts

It is so much harder to spend money waywardly when you have to actively go out of your way to access it. Whether it’s the student favourite Monzo or a classic savings account, I would always recommend this. Having a savings account has been my ‘saving grace’, as every time I have to move some cash across to splurge on something ridiculous I feel a twinge of guilt for former me’s efforts.‌‌

You have to feel a bit guilty about that unnecessary spend when Monzo alerts you whenever you use your card | Epigram / Emma Holding

Save when you get it

It is always easier to save money when you just got it. Set a direct debit for yourself from your main account to your savings for the day your student loan comes in, and you’ll hardly notice the sting of losing a little. Take a leaf out of taxes’ book.‌‌

Check your bank balance

This may seem ridiculously obvious, but the fear of not knowing can hide many sins. Checking your bank account daily can be painful, but it also keeps you realistic, and informed spending choices will always be better than guesswork.‌‌

Use cash

When I first got my contactless card, spending felt like nothing. One simple beep and I’m on my way! Taking out a cash allowance for the day will make you identify your spending choices, and you’ll find yourself making far less frivolous choices when you have the money tangibly there in your hands.‌‌

"Checking your bank account daily can be painful, but it also keeps you realistic, and informed spending choices will always be better than guesswork" | Unsplash / Rupixen

Get a job

I know, I know, I sound like your mum. But if you want to be able to spend money without worrying about where it’s going, and you have some spare time, getting a job is my best piece of advice. Working throughout my undergrad meant that I could afford to be silly and frivolous and spontaneous, because my saving efforts and my paydays meant I had a little extra on the side, and knowing I’d earned it meant I had no shame in spending it on whatever I liked.‌

Featured: Epigram / Emma Holding


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