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Budgeting your first loan

By ResLifeBath 06 Jul 2023

Don’t spend it all in one go! Having to live off beans and toast for months after splashing out is not worth it

To save this from happening we've got some simple ways to make sure your loan lasts, whilst also being able to treat yourself every once in a while.

Make a plan

Write down the amount of loan you will be receiving and take away however much will be going out each month. This would include, rent, bills, food shopping and anything else you have going out your bank account. This will enable you to work out how much you can spend each month.

After you've worked out how much you can afford to spend each month, you can see how much you have left per week. You could withdraw your weekly allowance from your bank so that you only spend that money. You may have money left over each week to spend on treats and nights out (yes, you can still enjoy yourself when budgeting)!

MoneySavingExpert has a fantastic step-by-step guide that you can follow.

Shop smart

Choose where you go for your food shop carefully! Shopping at the likes of Aldi and Lidl will save you a lot of money compared to shopping at Co-op or Tesco. Always do a weekly or monthly food shop too — don't go to your local corner shop for food every day because it'll end up a lot more expensive. Everything adds up quicker than you think.

The closest Lidl is around an hour's walk from campus, but you can get there quicker on public transport, or why not share a taxi with your flatmates to cut the costs.

And write a shopping list before you go!

Spending money on food is inevitable! A simple way to shop smart is to make a meal plan for the week and write a shopping list before you go, this will ensure you only get the things you need instead of buying everything and anything. Also, NEVER go food shopping hungry, you'll crave all kinds of food and end up spending money on rubbish.

Make the most of student discounts

One of the great benefits of being a student has got to be the student discounts. Most shops have a student discount, and if it doesn't advertise it always ask (it's worth it). If you haven't got a student card, then invest in a TOTUM card or UNiDAYS / Student Beans are great online alternatives, so check these before buying anything.

Save on travel

You can also cut down your expenses on transportation. If you take the bus or train to go to uni or visit your family, you can get some discounts. A railcard or a bus pass can help you save up to 1/3 of the fare! This is another easy way to stretch your loan further if you’re looking for ways to save money everywhere.

Get a part time job

A part-time job can be a good option if you don’t have many lectures/seminars each week. It can help you earn more money and save up for the future. However, it may not suit everyone and you should always put your studies first. A part-time job is a great opportunity, but not a necessity.

a piggy bank with sunglasses on, on a beach

Being a student can be tough on your finances, but you don’t have to feel stressed about money. With these easy tips, you can make the most of your student loan.

Think ahead, be smart with your shopping, take advantage of discounts, cut down on travel costs and look for a part-time job if possible. These are some of the ways to make your money last longer and avoid being broke before the term is over. Don’t splurge it all at once, but don’t deprive yourself of some treats either!

If you need more help and support, take a look at our Managing your money guide. You can also come to the Student Money Advice team for more support and information on your finances whilst at university.