Our Student Voice Ambassadors, Sree and Eloise, have put together 10 money tips for University of Reading students to help you get smarter with your money:
- Have at least one no-spend day a week – Although this sounds simple, it can actually be very difficult. A lot of small purchases that you don’t even think about add up; a takeaway, a trip to the co-op, just buying a drink. Forcing yourself to stop this for just one day a week can add up to a lot of savings at the end of the year!
- Regularly check your bank account/balances (Monzo and Chip are just two options that help with this and can easily be used on your phone) – Understandably, this can be quite daunting, especially when its just something you want to avoid and hope it fixes itself! However, this simple tip can empower you and make you understand just how much you have been spending.
- Know the benefits of your bank account – There are often advantages with student accounts, for example, getting rewards at certain shops. Every bank is different, so make sure you know what you can get with yours.
- Have a week-long ‘think time’ before making any purchase – This is mainly for purchases such as clothes or electronics – most of the time, it’s something we do not need. So, by keeping it in the shopping cart for a week, it makes you think if you really need/want it.
- Free student learning/advice – This may seem obvious, but it is only becoming more apparent as a final year student. Two examples are the Student Financial Support team, who offer amazing financial advice based for us specifically! And Future learn with an array of courses that are just so diverse.
- Track your incoming and outgoing money – You can do this in an Excel spreadsheet making your money management so much easier. By adding details of your incoming/outcoming money, such as your loan or part-time job, you can track how much there is to spend. It also makes it easier to know what is in your account, so you won’t be caught out on rent day. Just write down what you spend, and you’ll be able to see how much money you have left and whether you are keeping to your budget.
- Shop savvy (Unidays, Student Beans) – There are loads of easy ways to save money as a student by using student discount sites or shopping at cheaper supermarkets. Budget supermarkets usually have great quality items that really match up to the more expensive brands, use these shops to make your money stretch further and buy more for your money. If you don’t have a discounter near you, try to buy supermarket basic or own-brand products. For example, branded bread will be more expensive than supermarket own-label bread.
- Current Account or savings? – Think about where you want your money to be! Do you need to have it easily accessible? Do you aim to buy something big in the future such as a car? You might want to think about sending some money out of your main current account into savings. Even if it is only £15 a month that you set aside and put into savings, this will be £180 + any interest you gain at the end of the year. If you have a part-time job or a big loan and want to save for emergencies or something big, you can save up large amounts of money for this with relatively small outgoings every month.
- Blackbullion tools and videos – Use your free University Blackbullion account to watch some great money management videos! You can also use their student budget tool. There is a range of content from student loan information to budgeting and investing and the types of accounts available. This is great for when you are new to managing your money by yourself without your parents or guardians by helping you to understand different types of financial products and how to make the best decisions for your needs.
- Be safe with your money – Think twice about putting your bank details into a site or providing them to someone else. If they are a friend or a reputable company, they should be fine, but scams do occur on untrusted sites or through dodgy emails. It’s usually best to check that the person asking for your bank details or the site you are putting them into are genuine so that you can protect those hard-earned money-saving rewards. There is a lot of advice about scamming, and fraud so educate yourself about the risks, so you don’t become a victim yourself.
Have your own tips? Let us know in the comments.
Although NSMW21 is coming to an end, being #MoneySmart is a life-long journey. If you’re ever worried about your financial situation or want to talk money, you can always contact The Student Financial Support Team, virtual appointments are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9.30 – 12.
Book an appointment or call the team on 0118 378 5555.