Ready to fly the coop?
Living away from home gives you a whole new outlook on life. There are new challenges, both academically and socially, but you’ll be gaining a real sense of independence and growing in confidence.
Wherever your accommodation happens to be, the chances are you'll have to cook for yourself more often than you ever did at home. You might also have to take care of routine stuff like organising your laundry, making sure you have a TV licence and, if you’re sharing accommodation, taking your turn to do the washing up and other fun housekeeping stuff, such as taking the rubbish out.
It’s all part of student life, and as one Glasgow Caledonian student was quoted recently as saying,
” … if you are not sure what to do, someone is always able to help. You will soon discover it (the university) to be your home away from home!”
How to budget
If your response to being asked about budgeting is “Budget? What budget?”, here are some things to think about.
Start by looking at your monthly income. That’s the bottom line. Make a list of all your fixed outgoing costs, not forgetting your leisure spending. If your costs are within your income – great! If not, think again.
Decide how you are going to pay your bills. For anything you pay by direct debit, make sure you’ll have enough money in your bank account to cover it.
Gas, electricity and telephone bills are sent every three months. If these are not included as part of your monthly rent, make sure you have enough money in your account to cover them when they become due. That way, you won’t get hit by “quarterly shock” syndrome.
When you agree an overdraft limit with your bank, be careful not to exceed it. If you do, you may well have to face some hefty charges.
If you are tempted to pay for something on credit make sure you’ll be able to afford the repayments. If you don't need something urgently, you could wait and save up for it instead. And if you are having difficulty in paying any bill, talk to the company or person concerned. They may be able to give you more time. But whatever you do, don’t ignore it.
Our money site has useful tools such as a budget calculator, and includes links to our funding team as well.