In a recent nationwide survey carried out by credit rating website Experian 67% of students wanted to know more about managing their finances. Apparently nine in ten students have some form of credit besides their student loan, such as an overdraft or credit card.
Keeping an eye on your finances and credit history is well advised as financial decisions made at University and College could have implications well into the future.
To help students and graduates use credit wisely Experian have produced a guide that looks at applying for credit, borrowing and budgeting and managing your money.
Here some five ways to manage your budgeting.
Put pen to paper (or whip up a simple excel sheet) and write down all your income and expenses. Include everything you can think of and see if there are any areas you can cut down on, like the daily latte.
You can also keep track of your spending for a month and see which areas you can cut down on. There are some handy apps: (list)
Live like a student. You get special banking services, shop discounts as well as vouchers that give you plenty of discounts and be savvy when it comes to choosing what’s been offered. Make sure it’s right for you, no matter what the marketing is telling you.
Leave the cash card at home and take the exact amount you can afford to spend. If you are pressurised by peers into blowing your money, call them out on it and say you cannot afford to burn your money. Others in the same boat will appreciate you taking a stand.
Check with your local authority about council tax. If you’re a student living alone or with other students it’s likely you’ll be exempt from paying and there could be tax discounts even with non students living in the house.
Don’t overpay tax. If you work over your holidays make sure you are not paying unnecessary tax. Students earning less than £9,440 shouldn’t be paying any. Students are taxed via The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme so you may need to claim it back.
See the HMRC website for more details.