Managing Money at Uni 💰
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
In our recent We Are Freshers Survey, a whopping 82% of you shared the fact that money was your main concern about starting here at BU. So we thought we'd make this week's blog post about managing money, using tips from our current and previous students.
Whether you've managed to save a little bit of cash over summer or you're relying solely on your student loan drop, money anxieties can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. It may be new for a lot of you, as most people will be leaving home for the first time.
Let's get on with it.
Tip 1: Budgeting can actually frighten you more than help you. Find a way that won't stress you out.
Putting a load of figures next to your outgoings can sometimes be super daunting. I created your typical weekly budget sheet in my first year and it was like committing to a really restricting diet that made me miserable. If this helps you, great. If this causes you even more panic, try setting aside lumps of money for the semester/ term. For example, as soon as you get your student loan, load £50 onto your laundry card, set aside any money you'll need for bills and food, then just be sensible with what you've got left over.
I discovered Monzo in my last year of uni and you can set up little banking pots on the phone app and this really helped me manage my money. Also if you use a friends link to sign up, you both get £5! Winning.
Shannon, Graduate - Media Production
Tip 2: Meal Planning and Prepping
Planning my weekly meals allows me to do my weekly shop without over spending and buying things I don't need (including takeaways!). Sure, I'll buy the occasional biscuits that are on offer and I nearly always get tempted by that middle aisle in Aldi but planning what you're eating for the week really does help you manage your money. You can also meal prep to take stuff to uni in lunchboxes and save money on constant snack spends. SUBU and other buildings at uni have microwaves where you can heat food up if you need to.
Katy, 3rd Year - Accounting
Tip 3: Buy a re-usable coffee mug and your own coffee.
When I first went to uni, I was constantly buying coffees on campus. Although they aren't massively expensive, I was still spending sometimes £6 a day, three days a week. I got myself a reusable coffee cup to help save the planet and get money off of my coffees on campus, but I also just started taking my own coffee to uni. I'd make a regular one to go, then you can get little sachets too and just get hot water from uni. So I'd take one of those also. They're like £1.50 for a box in Asda. Huge savings when you think about it.
Ben, 1st Year - Business Studies
Tip 4: Ask someone to look after your money for you.
This is going to sound really lame to some people but I actually found giving my money to my parents to look after and give to me monthly made my life so much easier. In first year I was constantly getting sucked into buying clothes with all my student discounts, ordering takeaways 24/7 but when you'd get money put into your account each month instead of a huge lump every 3 months, it makes budgeting so much easier and now I've been much better with money for the last two years. When you move into a student house you have no choice but to be money savvy!
Meg, 3rd Year - Film
Tip 5: Only take out cash for the week and hide your card and only take cash on nights out!
This is what my mum taught me to do before I even went to uni and it worked really well in my first year. I'd take out £70 for the week in cash and use it for my food shops and going out. It really helped budget my nights out too because if I left my card at home, I could only spend what money I took out with me.
Sheena, 2nd Year - Nutrition
Tip 6: Set up a Savings account.
Luckily my older brother had told me what sort of money I'd need for my second year house so I managed to save for the deposit and even use my left over savings for Christmas presents. I wouldn't use it all the time, just chuck some money in whenever I got loan, or if my evening plans were cancelled/ I didn't go somewhere I'd put what I'd have spent (or less) into the savings account. I know a lot of people use Monzo now too.
Luke, 2nd Year - Law
Tip 7: Don't buy all the make up and clothes in the world. You don't need them!
I used to spend so much money on things I just didn't need. By the time you get to your final year you really don't care as much about your appearance so save yourselves now! It's also a right pain when it comes to moving in and out of accommodation.
Florence, 4th Year - Law
Tip 8: Get a part time job.
I had quite a bit of free time in my first year so I picked up an 8-12 hours a week part time job in town. The extra £340 a month I was getting meant I wasn't really budgeting and I was still only giving up 1-2 days a week. A lot of my friends repped for club events and got commission for selling tickets.
Faris, 2nd Year - Advertising
Tip 9: Get a rail card and or/ TOTUM card
This might be a really obvious one but student savings cards really do go a long way.
Ryan, 2nd Year - Sports Management
Tip 10: Make plans well in advance.
Tickets to events all around Bournemouth, like every town ever, are usually always cheaper the earlier you buy them, so if you see something you want to go to, jump right in the group chat and see who's up for it and secure your tickets earlier!
Lauren, 3rd Year - Forensic Science
Tip 11: Don't be afraid to ask for help.
I'd hate asking my parents to help out every now and then but they'd always do the best they can. Don't let money worries eat you up, always talk to those close to you. Your parents are no longer providing for you at home so I'm sure they won't mind sending you £20 for your food shop!
Jade, 2nd Year - Law
Tip 12: Delete Apps
Delete apps like Deliveroo, Uber Eats, ASOS etc. Or alternatively, cut your hands off so you can't use them.
Bec, Graduate - Forensic Science
So there you have it, from BU students, new and old. We hope you can make the most of these tips. Don't forget you can always talk to SUBU Advice if you ever find yourself worrying about money (or anything else). Click here for more info.
See you in September!