Students are famous for being perpetually poor and for first timers at university, realising how little money you actually have can be daunting. Luckily for you, qmunicate are here to help! Here are our three golden rules for saving money and avoiding debt:
Buying second-hand is the single biggest money saving tool in a student’s repertoire. Whether it’s textbooks you need, or something to cover the questionable stain in the bedroom of your new flat, there isn’t much you won’t find second-hand. For books, have a browse through the used option on Amazon, or head down to the university’s second hand bookshop in the McIntyre building (where you can also sell your old texts!). For clothes, charity shops are good for finding the unexpected hidden gem, while places like eBay are better for when you’re searching for something specific (yes I’m looking at you, zebra-print jacket).
Budget For Things You Need, And Things You Don’t:
Organising a budget is the easiest way to make sure you don’t quickly end up with an empty bank account. Personally, I always start with the amount of money I know I’ll have for the month, subtract the cost of rent and bills and then divide the remaining amount by four. This brings me to my weekly budget for food, public transport, and the odd trip down Ashton Lane with friends. Remember: if something flashy catches your eye, wait until the end of the week to buy it or you might not make that trip to Ashton Lane after all, and you know that the one time you don’t go will be the time something unmissable happens.
Find the Right Overdraft:
Sometimes spending money you don’t have is inevitable. Unexpected bills, hidden service fees, travel emergencies… sometimes, you just really need new plants to replace the ones your flatmate left in your care over summer (who knew over-watering was a thing?!). For those who don’t know, an overdraft is a pre-established amount of money you don’t have that the bank lets you spend. Often they charge hefty fees and interest for the privilege, but hurrah! Student account overdrafts are interest-free. Debt is never a good thing, but an overdraft is an excellent buffer to keep up your sleeve in case of emergencies, plant related or otherwise.
[Megan Willis – she/her]
[Photo credit: dorinser/flickr.com]