Support & Advice
How to budget and get the best deals
Jess Saunders - Music Performance student
It’s absolutely normal for you to be worrying about money when it comes to university. We all have exactly the same worries but they can all be solved much easier than you think! There are even certain things you don’t need to worry about as students which was a huge weight off my mind when I was a fresher. Students have the added bonus of not having to pay council tax which is a huge money saver and bills are included in your halls so again that’s one less thing to worry about.
Finding a part time job is easily the most sensible way to balance your budget and get a little bit of extra spending money. Chichester is only a tiny city and is filled with students looking for work and it’s easy to find it too! There’s plenty of clothing shops, cafes and supermarkets searching for students to work for them. What’s even better is they understand you have a busy schedule and are usually super flexible around your timetable. I didn’t get a job in my first year which was a huge mistake so I wouldn’t recommend that at all! However, I did find a job later on and it really saved my skin (and paid my rent!)
I worked in the evenings in the café at the Chichester Festival Theatre. They were so flexible around my timetable and whenever there was food going out of date you can bet I was right there getting my lunch for tomorrow! I also worked as a Student Ambassador for the university which was one of the easiest and most fun jobs I’ve ever had, and one I still have now! Work for the university, talk about it and promote it? Easy peasy.
The university itself also has programmes in place to help us students if we are struggling for money too. The Hardship fund is in place to help students who are struggling after your student finance money has come through. I was finding it difficult in my 3rd year so applied for the fund and thankfully I was successful. They look over your needs and allocate money accordingly so I got just the right amount and it solved so many problems. So, if you are suffering, there’s help available!
Creating a realistic budget for yourself is also a great way to keep on top of your finances. Something like this:
As long as you don’t make up how much you’re spending (we all go out and have fun, don’t limit yourself!) it’ll work well for you and make life ten times easier. There are also loads of apps out there if you’d rather have it all on your phone.
- Goodbudget – helps you divide your cash into different pots for different things
- Money Dashboard – links with your bank account to track your spending
- Wally Next – as well as tracking your spending, it alerts you when you’ve reached your savings goal!
You can also team up with your flatmates, meal plan and split the cost between you. Plus, if you’re the one to cook it means you can skip the washing up!
Finally, one of the best reasons for being a student is all the discounts! Be sure to get yourself an NUS TOTEM card to get the best deals as well as the app UniDays. There’re so many great deals on there which will see you through your degree for sure. But if you’re still struggling or just need some advice be sure to ask for help or book an appointment to see one of our Student Money Advisors who are always on hand to help. Get saving!
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