How aware are students of their finances?

Being a student, means that for many it is their first time away from their parents and time to take control of their finances for the first time. But, do student’ meticulously manage their money, or just see where life takes them?

In a recent poll, over two-fifths of students’ only checked their finances on occasion, rather than keeping any kind of formal record – this is rather shocking considering the tight budget that students live on, especially with the £9000 tuition fees coming in this September – will students need to keep a better track of their cash?

The Student Room user, Kayak suggests a good way of mangaging your money, by first of all seeing how much you will roughly spend before then drawing up a budget.

“I’ve just been writing down everything I’ve spent so far, and being careful with money, and then when I get a good idea of how much I’ll be spending weekly, I’ll draw up an actual budget.”

Other people, however, such as user DoTheStrand just find it difficult to keep up with the amount of work that managing a budget can be.

“Badly. I have a rough idea of how much I should be spending per week to ensure I have enough at the end of the month for rent and bills, but I always end up buying something expensive and unnecessary. I reckon even if I used a spreadsheet, I’d ignore it.”

The problem is that without any form of budget it can be very easy to slip into your overdraft, and end up not having the money you need. This is sometimes unavoidable though, as many people are in the situation whereby their loan does not even cover their outgoings, as La Esmerelda tells.

“In first year i went into my overdraft and once you’re in, you’re in! My halls were £700 more expensive than the maintenance loan anyway so that put me pretty deep into overdraft and now I have a second one. Its gotten to the point where I HATE being a student and can’t wait to graduate, just because of how expensive everything is. I’m sick of being poor and its my final year so I’d rather join societies, work hard on my course etc then spend time working at a job.”

Students really can struggle with money, for numerous reasons – whether it’s loans not covering bills that need paying, not being able to find part-time work or unexpected expenses. And we’re seeing them turn to The Student Room for advice on all these issues; learning from their peers how best to manage their money and where to look for part time work that won’t impact too greatly on their studies.

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