Make it to Christmas without using your overdraft
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Many students will run out of money sometime in November. If you'd rather be one of the smug ones with money for Christmas presents, try these simple strategies. Make a budget This is one of the simplest, most effective ways to manage your money - but surprisingly few people do it. The word might conjure up complicated spreadsheets and specialist calculators, but it boils down to three simple steps:
- Add up all the money you have coming in
- Work out how much you need to spend
- Check that you'll have enough money and plan where to cut back if you don't
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- Take cash: not your card - on a night out, so you're not tempted to overspend once you're having a good time. Keep the fare for your journey home separate so you don't get stranded.
- Make a waiting rule for big purchases: for example, wait a week before buying anything over £30. This will help you to work out whether you really want or need it, rather than it just being an impulse buy.
- Use the Envelope Method: take your money for the week out in cash and split it into labelled envelopes for the different things you'll need to spend on. Then put your card away: you can only spend what's in the envelopes.
- Set up a separate bank account for day-to-day spending, with a standing order to transfer in just the money you need every couple of weeks. That way, you can't spend your entire loan in the first month.