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Student Life

‘A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned’

Some students may think managing finances is a very simple thing to do. There are others who may struggle with how best to manage their spending. However, no matter whether you think managing finances is easy or not, it is very crucial for students to have an enjoyable university life, and finances play a big part in whether you can fully enjoy the things that are on offer. However, please bear in mind that it is not necessarily about having a lot of money, but it’s more about how wisely you spend and manage it.

Here are top 5 tips to manage your finances at university:

1. Set your monthly spending

The first stage in financial management is to create a monthly or weekly budget. The budget should account for all anticipated expenses and guarantee that sufficient funds are set aside. In an ideal world, the budget would contain monies for groceries, transportation, and some for emergency or unplanned needs. This is critical because it allows you to budget your costs and set aside money for entertainment and recreation. It will keep you from overspending and provide you with an overview of the projected monthly/weekly costs so that you don’t fall short.

2. Keep track of expenses periodically

Keeping track of your costs is a tried-and-true approach of operating within budget. By keeping the budget on track, you are more likely to spend less. This is due to the fact that you will be more mindful of your spending and how much money you have left over. You can also evaluate your expenses at the end of the month to see if there are any areas where you can save money, such as reducing your takeaway orders and eating out less. One of the ways to check on expenses is through your mobile banking app to keep on top of your spending.

3. Cook your own food

It should come as no surprise that cooking at your flat/house is significantly less expensive than eating out every day. Rice cookers, kettles, and stoves are usually available at student accommodation or if not, you can get one easily from Wilko in the city centre. Fortunately, Newcastle is regarded as being a cost-effective area to live, with fresh food available at reasonable costs at places like Grainger Market. Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, on the other hand, are good places to buy groceries on a budget. These stores also provide membership/Clubcard services, which provide customers with additional savings. You should remember to download these apps and sign up for free memberships that alert you to specials and reward you with cash back when you purchase particular items. It will certainly help to keep the groceries costs down.

4. Take advantage of deals

Some days, instead of cooking, you just want to take a break and grab something to eat outside. Remember to use applications like ‘Too Good to Go’ to find the best prices on certain days. This app lists a number of Newcastle eateries and bakeries that offer their food at a reduced price in the evenings to avoid food waste. Not only do you help the environment, but you can also get a very good deal. It’s also worth noting that grocery stores like Tesco and M&S will decrease the price of meals that are about to expire in the evenings. This is a great place to acquire desserts, fruits or even sandwiches at a discounted price!

5. Get a job

There are lots of opportunities to work in shops, restaurants or cafes. However, it is worth noting that you can work part-time for Newcastle University as well with one of them being a student ambassador. Having a part-time job can help to increase your budget and at the same time boost your CV, improving the skills needed to get a graduate role once you are done with university.

Saving money does not imply that you must forego all of your favourite activities. You may simply need to splurge less regularly and look for alternate, less expensive options. Apart from that, Newcastle University also offers numerous scholarships and bursaries, so make sure to check if you’re eligible. Additionally, if you are facing financial hardship, you can contact Student Financial Support and they will help you to find the solution.

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