Students: How to Manage Your Finances

One of the downsides of attending tertiary education is the necessary assumption of student debt. Student loans are available both to cover tuition fees as well as living costs, and can total tens of thousands of pounds at the time of graduation.Often the student will be living away from home for the first time, and may find themselves facing the novel task of having to take total control of their finances.It is a good idea at this stage to develop an outline for spending, and with a little help from the right people and resources, students will be able to stick to a well planned budget.A simple budget can be drawn up on an excel spreadsheet month by month where they will list their income and their expenses. This will be broken down into more detail. They will list things like entertainment, books or things they need for projects as well as transport and food. For something like this you have to be well organised and let’s face it, not all students will take the time once a month to draw up a spreadsheet like this. This is where personal finance software will help because it is a lot easier to handle.The benefits of using personal finance softwareYou will find that most of these applications are not expensive and you are able to put them on Windows as well as Mac.
You can run a report to see if you are within limit or if you have overspent and where you need to cut down.
It is very user-friendly which will encourage students to budget in this way.
There are some programs that allow you to create your own categories. Make sure you find out about the features of the software first. Some are more personal than others.
This is an excellent way of getting into the habit of budgeting for the future, which you should be doing when you have a steady job and a family to support.
The software is constantly being updated, making it easier for the student to get a grasp for handling their budget.
Budget trends can be set up as well which is really helpful and you can set this up so you are constantly reminded of what is happening with your budget.Budgeting categories to focus onEveryone has different needs and requirements as a student, but students still have a lot of things in common when it comes as to what they spend their money on.IncomePart-time job
Student loan
Allowance from parentsExpensesTuition
Extra college fees. For example, sports activities or admin
Rent or housing on campus
Personal items and services such as laundry and toiletries
Computer and applications
Books and stationery
Transport – this could be petrol for a car which would also include parking costs, but it could also include public transport as well as rides shared with friends.
Food – this will come in the form of groceries or halls of residence fees.The key is to take action, generate a framework for spending and discipline oneself to live within a budget. This is, of course, easier said than done, but well worth it in the long run.

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