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By Georgia Geddes

MSc Forensic Osteology

Being in charge of your own money is…overwhelming. Before I left home, I’d never had a job, my parents didn’t ‘do’ pocket money and they never bought the food I liked when the inevitable weekly shop came around either. One of the things I was looking forward to most about leaving home was being in charge of my own money (…which my parents gave me every month…but still!). The prospect of being able to buy that gorgeous top I wanted, getting a new phone on contract and slipping that bar of chocolate into the shopping basket was exhilarating. And it was! To begin with…

Suddenly you’re halfway through the month and you’ve got thirty pounds to last you. Somehow, that’s got to cover a few drinks down the pub, food shopping, the obligatory between-lecture coffee…Oh! And your train tickets home, because you’re really homesick and you haven’t dared figure out how to use the washing machines in your flat yet for fear of turning all your clothes pink – including that gorgeous new top you bought.

Spending money is like eating fast food. You feel a little guilty, but you really don’t care, it satisfies you quickly and you don’t really think about it until later when you’re feeling rough and regretful.

The best way to handle your finances at uni is healthily. Spend your money wisely and sensibly…about 80% of the time! After all, man cannot live on salad alone (or in this case, unsatisfied,  and still hankering after that top…).

Don’t be too strict with yourself about your spending habits, you’re going to make mistakes when you’re first starting out, but don’t let the power rush to your head. Search for those bargains, make compromises and discover the best ways to have fun without spending a small fortune.

But most importantly- if you’re faced with a fortnight on £2.14 a day, the best thing you can do is ask for help. Put your pride away, pick up the phone and call your mum. Failing that, go and talk to your Student’s Advice Service.

If you still can’t bring yourself to ask for help, maybe think about returning that top…

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