Written by Patricia Obawole
LLB (Hons) Law
STUDENT FINANCE! One of the many god sends that helps us get through the year without going (too far) into our overdraft. Well, like most things in life there are pros and cons to everything, allow me to explain. Pro: the fact that you will have large sums of money in your account and can actually afford nice things. Con: the extreme temptation this brings for spending the money lavishly, going out every night and buying drinks for everyone. Of course, this in itself has its own implication, suddenly everyone wants to be your friend, which is great, until you realise that you cannot afford to buy food let alone to pay your rent and end up like the prodigal son/daughter. My response to this BUDGET!
Yes, I know that budgeting is one of the things that “grown-ups” do and yes, it can seem boring at times, however, speaking from experience, it’s essential to do it once in a while if we want to last the year with food (and no, 11p noodles from Asda doesn’t really count as “food”).
Budgeting isn’t really that difficult, give yourself a certain amount a month or a week depending on what you prefer and distribute it according to what you need (note: this is different to what you “want”) and then you have control of your spending. Seems easy in theory the harder part is putting it into practise.
For me I have £100 to spend a month and this is how I do it:
|Socialising (mind you I only go out like once a week)||£20|
However, if you do get to that stage where you don’t think you can survive any longer, there are other options, one of them including a part time job. Being a student ambassador for the uni is great, flexible hours and great rates of pay means that you can earn a bit of extra cash without smelling like McDonalds every night.
Furthermore, what most people tend to forget are Bursaries, these lovely bundles of joy in the form of money can prove helpful at times so make sure you know if you are entitled to one.
Apart from that, there is nothing much else to say, budgeting is boring but then is essential so the best thing to do about it is manage it.