How to Successfully Budget as a College Student
Currently, it is believed that almost £20 billion is lent out every year to around 1.5 million students in England. Moreover, the value of loans outstanding at the end of March 2021 reached £141 billion, while this figure is expected to reach £560 billion by mid-century.
This suggests that many graduates do not end up repaying their loans, but despite this, students are having difficulty managing their finances and budgeting in the current economic climate. Luckily, we’ve outlined some tips below to help you on your way.
#1. Review your income and expenses
This is one of the key aspects of budgeting, as you need to estimate and thoroughly review your income as a student before making informed spending and budget plans.
This should include all income, from money donated by parents and earned through student loans to any income generated by part-time work or scholarship agreements.
Once you have accurately assessed your total income, the next step is to estimate expenses and your cumulative cost of living to determine a fixed level of disposable income each week or month. This will include rent (if applicable), food, bills and your cell phone bill, as well as money for recreational activities and socializing.
You can then confidently assess your precise financial situation as a student, while considering whether you need fast student loans to boost your finances.
#2. Focus on other ways to increase your income
In addition to taking out short term unsecured loans, you can also proactively look for other methods to increase your income.
Getting a part-time job (if you don’t already have one) is a good place to start, as long as it doesn’t impact your studies or course schedule too badly.
Other flexible earning methods include tutoring or pet sitting, which can be done over the weekend and provide convenient income streams. Likewise, those of you who are enterprising may want to consider starting a low-cost business, which has the potential to grow further in the future.
If you have a viable and in-demand skill like writing or website design, you can also choose to market it online as a freelancer.
#3. Set goals and stay focused
The key to success with your finances and budgeting as a student is consistency, and you’ll need to maintain a clear mind and a strong sense of discipline to achieve your goals.
This can be helped by setting weekly or monthly financial goals, whether that equates to spending limits or reaching income milestones.
It’s essential that your goals are carefully considered and manageable, but we also recommend that you set multiple goals that unfold over the course of each year.
Ultimately, setting manageable goals over time can create a strong sense of focus in students, making it easier to maintain your discipline and get the most out of your earned income.