Budgeting can be difficult. Some people are not used to having large amounts of money to allocate to different things, or simply haven’t got enough money for everything they need. It’s often easier to ignore the problem, hoping that “something will come along”.
When all your friends are spending money, it’s hard to say “I can’t afford it”, it’s natural to be reluctant asking for help.
Getting stung a few times is a memorable way of learning how to manage your finances, but it’s better to take steps to avoid any nasty surprises. These might include:
- Check your bank statements regularly by signing up for online or telephone banking.
- Use our budget planner to help you plan ahead for the year.
- Find ways to spend less money.
- Increase your income through paid work.
- Avoid buying on credit. Use a debit card or withdraw a fixed amount of cash for spending each week.
- Note payment dates of bills to avoid late charges.
- Always check the minimum contract length when signing up for mobile phones, broadband, cable TV or gym membership – don’t tie yourself into things you can’t really afford.
- Set yourself 3 realistic goals e.g. reduce my overdraft; spend less on going out; stop using my credit card. Think about the changes you’ll need to make to achieve these goals, and start them within 2 weeks.
- Don’t ignore financial worries – the problem won’t go away by itself.
- Don’t be tempted by payday loans. They do not solve long-term money problems, and will put you into even more debt.
- Get advice from your university Student Welfare Adviser, or Citizens Advice.