Student finances, student loans, overdraft, credit cards DEBT! This Wednesday I will be sharing with you some of my financial wisdom on how to manage your MONEY as a university student.
(Not to brag but) I have always been really good with managing my money growing up. Not only would I save part of my allowances, I started my own little 'business' selling sweets at an inflated price in school to earn some extra cash.
I was also deemed the 'little banker' at home because I have the tendency of charging interest to my very own sisters if they were to borrow money from me. ;)
HOWEVER, then comes University life ...
During my first year I was still doing alright - had a job and the workload was still manageable. But then second year hit me like a tonne of bricks. Long gone were the carefree days as a fresher - I had pile loads of deadlines, committed most of time to societies and on top of that, I was no longer enjoying my job. Not to mention I was suffering from FOMO (Fear of missing out).
I left my job to focus on my studies but although the job was gone, my spending habit stayed with me. Instead of taking buses I always opt for taking a cab. I continuously went out for dinner in town with my mates and was always shopping for new outfits to wear to hit the club. Before I realised it, I racked up £1000 worth of overdraft and felt like it was the end of the year - there's no way I'll be able to get out of this debt!
But you can!
It's going to be hard work, but you can!
So here are some of my #WednesdayWisdom for all you University students out there on how to manage your money.
#1 Act your WAGE
I believe you should be able to treat yourself every now and then, but if you don’t have the means to do it, don’t do it. Don’t go spending mindlessly for the sake of a short term material pleasure. Remember, debt is borrowing from the future to satisfy the now. Don’t give in to that pressure! It isn’t worth the struggle - Live by how much you can afford!
#2 Spend some, save some, hide some
When you receive your loan or grant, or when you get your paycheck or even received some money from your birthday or from Christmas, SPLIT THAT MONEY TO THREE! Start creating a budget on how much you would NEED to spend (not how much you would WANT to spend). Then look into saving some money towards a short term goal - a holiday during summer maybe? An amazing pair of shoes that you have been craving for possibly. Or maybe even save some money for a new phone that will be released some time in the future. Whatever you want to do with it, just remember: those who don't economise will have to agonise. Lastly, hide some of your money. What this means is to save up for a rainy day. Even if it is £10 a month or £2 a month, be consistent in putting that money away and don’t spend it unless it is urgent.
#3 Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you have somehow accumulated a lot of debt, don’t worry and don’t panic. You can get out of it! It may be a rather tough journey but you can definitely do it. All it takes is some discipline and humility. Try speaking to your University support centre or your Students' Unions advice team, you may be surprised on how much they can actually help you. On top of that, a lot of universities have interest free loans or grants that may help in some way.
You can also ask your bank for help! They give amazing advice on how to reduce your debt and all you need to do is to book an appointment and they will assign an adviser to you.
#4 Be patient
Getting yourself out of debt is not going to happen in a blink of an eye, and it may be difficult to control your temptation to spend. But be patient and you will definitely be thankful once you're out of your overdraft. Be consistent have an open mind because fashion trends come and go, and all those holidays that you are planning to go will still be there.
Remember, don’t make yourself broke for the sake of a lavish lifestyle illusion. In instagram term, that would be #forfeedsake.
Don't forget, save money and money will save you.