Managing your money at university

The thought of managing money when you start University can be quite daunting. You’ll be given a big chunk of money at the start of term and it will usually have to last until after Christmas! We’ve put together some ideas designed to give you some tips and pointers on how to best deal with this.
1. Budgeting is really important!

When your loan comes in, factor in any part-time job earnings, money from your parents and grants and work from there. UCAS offers a really great budgeting tool that could help you make the most of your money. If you’re spreadsheet-savvy, set one up to keep track of what’s going in and out of your account. Try and save some of your budget for contingency- you never know when an unexpected cost could crop up.

2. Going out

Going out and socialising with friends is a big part of many students’ university experience. When going out, only take the amount of money you’ve budgeted to spend during that trip. Try and avoid temptation to spend more by leaving your bank card at home!

3. Get those student discounts

One of the biggest perks of being a student is the discounts! Get your Totum Card now and enjoy discounts all year round. Lots of places around Mile End offer students a discount as well as big high street shops.

4. Learn to cook

This may sound obvious, but learning to cook can save you lots of money, especially if you save or freeze your leftovers to have another day. There are loads of budget-friendly recipes available on the BBC Good Food website and at studentrecipes.

5. Think- do I need this?

Make sure, before you spend your money on anything, you consider three things: Do I need it? Can I afford it? Is it value for money? If the answers to any of the three is a ‘no’, it’s probably best to avoid buying it.

6. Get a part-time job

Need some extra cash? London has loads of opportunities for part-time work suitable for students. At Queen Mary Students Union, we employ hundreds of members of student-staff in ultra-flexible roles that all pay the London Living Wage! Take a look at what we have on offer on our jobs page.

7. Buy in bulk and share

Buying things in bulk can often save you loads of money. Pasta, rice, tins and toiletries are really good things to buy in bulk, especially where you find offers. It’s best not to buy fresh items in bulk unless they’re able to be frozen! See if your flatmates will be willing to chip in and share some of these essential items as this can spread the cost.