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Student loan quickly blown? Think about budgeting for University.

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There are many dubious stories circulating the internet concerning students who have spent their loans in double quick time. Is that really the case?

BugettingWell, unfortunately according to research from Vouchercodes it is - 1 in 6 students spend their loans within a month of getting them. This is a worry, particularly when there are many easy things you can do to manage the challenging obstacle course of financing your time at university, while remaining solvent.

Below are five top tips from Julie Hutchison, personal finance expert at Standard Life on budgeting for university:

1)    A good starting point is to try and work out how much you need for your time at uni. Of course, you can do this the old fashioned way with pen and paper but alternatively, there’s a really useful online budget calculator from Thisismoney.co.uk that you might like to try. 

2)    Also working out how much you need doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you’ll actually get, so you still need to set budgets and track your spending. To help with that, here’s a nifty free app that’s well worth a look.  It’s called The Spendometer - this works with most smart phones and is a great way to keep a note of what you’re spending, as you spend it. You can download it, free of charge, from its website: www.spendometer.co.uk   

3)    Additionally, the University of York provides some useful insight on its website into cost estimates for different types of students, whether you’re an undergraduate living in halls or post graduate living in private accommodation. This can help to give you an idea of how much you need to be budgeting for different areas of your university life from laundry to food to insurance. You might find the university you are going to produces a similar guide too. 

4)    It’s also worth bearing in mind that most universities also run their own range of bursary schemes. Some can offer some generous hardship funds, bursaries and scholarships: check their websites for details of how to apply. 

5)    A final tip is to look at a general guide to everything you need to know about student money. The Essential Student Money Manual is hard to beat.  The website also has an area that advises students on what to do if you have got money woes and are in debt.  You can find the online version here: but you can also download and print out a PDF version on the same website.

For further budgeting tips please visit www.yourfuturemoney.co.uk

by Julie Hutchison, personal finance expert at Standard Life

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