How to manage your money at uni

How to ensure you keep on top of your money at university, by Goldsmiths student Amera Mohamed.

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A recent Save the Student survey found that 78% of students were worried about making ends meet during their time at uni. So, here are some tips to help you curb the over-expenditure.

Be savvy

It’s so easy to choose quick, nice, easy convenience over putting in the time and effort to find cheaper places with discounts or making your own food. But as a student you have access to so many discounts and freebies, so find them and use them!

There are a few pretty good apps like Karma, which finds and offers surplus food from restaurants and cafes all around London, at half the regular price.

Budget

I didn’t do this my first year of uni, and I paid the hard, painful price for it. If you only take one point from this article, let it be this one.

Even though student loans seem generous when they first hit your bank account, they have to stretch a long way, and it’s impossible not to overspend if you don’t set yourself a budget. Believe me – they have to go a long, long way…

Pay with cash, not card

Cards and even Apple Pay are so convenient, and sometimes necessary, but paying with cash will help you be more careful about what you spend your money on.

If you physically have to hand over money you’ll quickly start to differentiate between the things you actually need and the things you want. 

Stay away from private lenders

Outside of a student overdraft, borrowing money privately can be a slippery slope. Private lenders usually charge extortionate interest rates and repayments that are very difficult to keep up with.

Many people find themselves struggling financially during uni, but if you go and speak to somebody at Goldsmiths first, they will have your best interests at heart – they want you to continue with your studies and understand the struggles students face with finance.

You might also be able to benefit from a bursary or loan offered by Goldsmitjs for students who are struggling financially.

Sell stuff you don’t use anymore

Moving to uni is a great time to sort through all of your belongings and decide what you’ve grown out of and no longer need. Use apps like Depop and eBay to sell things you don’t need, and earn some money at the same time.

Invest in student travel cards

Don’t let the one-off purchase prices deter you from investing in these – an 18+ Student Oyster card, Railcard and coach cards for National Express and Megabus services all offer discounted tickets when you travel.

And if you’re moving away from home and plan to visit often, they’re excellent long-term money-saving things to have.

Talk to someone

Most importantly, if you’re worried about money, speak to someone early on, even if you’re not necessarily in debt. Staff in the Student Centre can offer you support and advice.