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Health and Wellbeing

Budgeting your first loan drop

By Konrad 20 Sep 2022

Seeing your loan arrive in your bank account for the first time is a great feeling. It can be tempting to spend it all in one go, but don't, having to live off beans and toast ´╗┐for months after splashing out is not worth it.

So to save this from happening we've got some simple ways to make sure your loan lasts, whilst also being able to treat yourself every once in a while.

1. Take note

Write down the amount of loan you will be receiving and take away however much will be going out each month. This would include, rent, bills, food shopping and anything else you have going out your bank account. This will enable you to work out how much you can spend each month.

different coloured post-it notes

2. Write everything down

This may seem tedious, but it is well worth it. Write down in a notepad what you spend money on each day down to the last penny. You'll be able to see how much money you are spending and if there are any unnecessary things you can stop buying to save.

a person sitting on a sofa writing in a book

3. Allocate cash

After you've worked out how much you can afford to spend each month, you can see how much you have left per week. You could withdraw your weekly allowance from your bank so that you only spend that money. You may have money left over each week to spend on treats and nights out (yes, you can still enjoy yourself when budgeting)!

a close up of someone putting money in a piggy bank

4. Shop smart

Choose where you go for your food shop carefully! Shopping at the likes of Aldi and Lidl will save you a lot of money compared to shopping at Co-op or Tesco. Always do a weekly or monthly food shop too - don't go to your local corner shop for food every day because it'll end up a lot more expensive. Everything adds up quicker than you think. 

a close up of someone pushing a shopping trolley

5. Student discount

One of the great benefits of being a student has got to be the student discounts. Most shops have a student discount, and if it doesn't advertise it always ask (it's ´╗┐worth it). If you haven't got a student card, then invest in a TOTUM card or UNiDAYS / Student Beans are great online alternatives, so check these before buying anything.

multiple discounts vouchers

6. Save on travel

Another way to save money is on travel. Whether it's a bus or train ticket to travel to uni and home, you can save some extra cash. Getting a railcard or a bus pass will get you up to 1/3 off ticket prices too! This is yet another simple way to make your loan last longer if you're trying to make savings wherever you go. If you know you'll be travelling around in London, make sure to apply for a Student Oyster.

a close up of a phone

7. Shopping lists

Spending money on food is inevitable! A simple way to shop smart is to make a meal plan for the week and write a shopping list before you go, this will ensure you only get the things you need instead of buying everything and anything. Also, NEVER go food shopping hungry, you'll crave all kinds of food and end up spending money on rubbish.

a person holding a piece of paper with a food shopping list

8. Part-time job

If you only have lectures/seminars for a couple of hours a week then getting a part-time job would be just what you need. Obviously, this may not be for everyone and you need to remember that university is always the priority, but getting a part-time job is a great way to have extra money and gives you a chance to save more!

a person working at a shop making a cup of coffee

So, to make your loan go the extra mile try one (or all) of these tips to see how much you could save.


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