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Student budgeting: make your money go further as cost of living crisis bites – The Guardian

For many young people, going off to university is the first time they have had to properly manage their own finances. Ensuring that your money (in particular your maintenance loan cash) stretches as far as it need…….

For many young people, going off to university is the first time they have had to properly manage their own finances. Ensuring that your money (in particular your maintenance loan cash) stretches as far as it needs to, so you’ve got enough for all the essentials and for the fun stuff such as freshers’ week, is often a challenge. However, this year, because of the cost of living crisis, it could get seriously tough.

In July, a National Union of Students poll of more than 3,500 university students found that 11% were using food banks because they could not make ends meet – up from 5% in January. Meanwhile, the vast majority said they were cutting back as a result of soaring prices and bills.

“The cost of living crisis this year is set to make the gap between government support and living costs even higher, and the strain on students to save and make money is going to be the worst we’ve seen in years,” says Jake Butler, a money expert at the website Save the Student.

“While I still hope the government will seriously consider the support available, there are things students can do in the meantime in order to keep themselves financially afloat during a difficult start to the university year.”

Here are some of the important things to consider when it comes to getting yourself in the best possible place financially.

Budgeting – the top tips and tricks

“It may sound boring but setting a budget is the number one thing you should do if you’re looking to survive financially at uni,” Butler says.

You need to know what’s coming in, including your total loan, any wages from part-time work and any financial help you are getting from your family, and then set realistic limits on your outgoings – from bills and food to books and beer.

If you are not sure how much you are likely to spend on different things, there are some good online tools out there such as the Which? student budget calculator, which lets you put in your university and get an idea of average monthly living costs, broken down into lots of headings – from accommodation, transport and mobile phone and internet to food shopping and going out and eating out.

Your living costs could be slightly higher during the first term because of books and equipment you need to buy, items you have forgotten …….

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/sep/17/student-budgeting-money-banking-accommodation-discounts-deals

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