Many of us are struggling with our finances at the moment; with the economy being in such a dire state since 2008, any hope of saving money and being in control of our finances has been a pipe dream for many of us. Historically, the group of people who famously struggle with money management are students. The stereotyped image of students living on baked beans and noodles grew out of the fact that many students struggle to make ends meet with a meager student loan and having more leisure time than most, tend to fritter away what they have on certain tempting pastimes.
Increased tuition fees now mean that students face more debt than ever, with some leaving university with an average debt of around £53,000, according to one BBC report. If you are a student and you are struggling to manage your money, try these helpful tips to allow you to take control of your finances.
One of the worst things you can do (that many of us are guilty of), is to put your head in the sand and ignore your dwindling balance or increasing debt. With many of us paying on credit or debit card for most of our purchases, it is easy to lose control. Make sure you are aware of your spending; perhaps try online or mobile banking so you can keep track of your spending easily and conveniently. Some services even offer text alerts when your balance drops below a certain limit.
Get the right bank account
If you are a student, you are entitled to a student account that offers special services to help you manage your money. Student banking offers a number of benefits, predominantly an interest-free overdraft. As a student, you are likely to require an overdraft and ensuring you have one that is interest free could save you hundreds of pounds. Make sure you are aware of your overdraft limit and do not go over it, or you may be charged.
Clear any outstanding debt
If you have taken out a student loan, the last thing you want is other loans or outstanding debts alongside it. If you have debts that are stopping you from being in control of your money, try seeking help from someone who could consolidate your debts, meaning you pay them off faster, therefore paying less interest.
Try using cash
A great way of keeping track of your spending is to use cash. Paying by card can sometimes feel like playing with monopoly money, making us feel like it’s not ‘real’ money. It is easy to lose track of what you are spending when using a card, but by withdrawing a limited amount of cash at the start of the week, you will be able to keep track of your spending and will know when it’s time to start cutting back. Work out what you can afford each week and try to stick to it. If you have any extra at the end of the week, you could even save it for something special.
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