When you get your student loan, it is certainly one of the best days of term. You feel like you can finally buy that ever-growing wish list. However, during the summer term, it is important to be able to make that loan last. Unfortunately, it’s usually a term where you have the opportunity to spend more because the weather is getting better and once you finish exams you really want to take advantage of all that free time that you now have. It is the longest amount of time you have from receiving your loan to getting your next one. So here are a few tips to try and make that loan stretch a bit further!
Put some aside when you get the loan
This isn’t going to be an easy task and it might not be something that you are able to do considering you need to pay rent and pay for the cost of living. However even if it is a small amount put aside when you get your loan, it is still going to make it easier when it comes to making your loan last over summer.
A recommendation is to try and put a little bit aside each week. If it so happens that you have not spent all of you budget that week, you can put the remainder into a savings pot, ready for when you need it. Fortunately, the loan in summer can be larger than the previous two loans, so this should hopefully make it a little easier for you when it comes putting a small proportion of your loan aside for future needs during the summer.
Of course, it is well known that all students get different amounts of student loan based on their parent’s income, so your ability to save might be difficult. This just means you need to focus more on budgeting what you do have!
Budgeting, what’s great about the summer term is that its shorter than the other terms, therefore you should have more to spend each week. Hopefully during your exam weeks, you will also be spending less on your entertainment and leisure, therefore you can account for this when you start your budget. However, by no means stop you socialising and other fun activities during exam weeks, having fun is essential during your deadlines to combat stress. Maybe just avoid a hangover the night before your exam!
Budgeting is something that can be easier to do at the start of your year, but don’t panic if you haven’t and the summer term is your first rodeo with it. All you need to do is to divide your loan into how many weeks your term is, that will show you how much money you have each week.
You will be able to find out how much term you are receiving by logging into the student finance website. When you have found this out, check how many weeks of term you have. For example, if you will be receiving £2500 in your first term and your term is 12 weeks long, then this would be an average of £208 per week for spending on rent, food and entertainment. If you pay rent of £100 per week then this would leave £108 for your food shop and daily spending. Try sticking to this budget and don’t go wild!
When starting university and getting your own freedom it can sometimes lead to a crazy food shop in Tesco’s where you try all the foods you haven’t had before – which is fine but do not make this a regular occurrence! This is why a budget is great and can keep your finances on track. If you have any left-over money, try putting it aside to save it.
Student beans and unidays
Although it might sound obvious, we don’t always realise some of the benefits Student Beans and Unidays have to offer. Sometimes they may even offer bigger and better discounts during the summer term! Even if the discounts only take 10% off, its 10% you possibly didn’t have off before the discount so it still makes it worth it. Maybe the money you have saved can be put aside as we mentioned above.
So, if you are shopping round ton or if you are going out for food, always check these sites to see if you can get any money off. This will help you save as much as possible to help you out over your summer.
Re-evaluate where you are spending your money
Often there are many ways you can spend your money differently. It might even be as simple as changing where you do your food shop just to make that loan stretch even further. I’m sure you have seen on the TV adverts how much money you can save by switching to a lower cost supermarket. It can be the difference between you loan lasting and it not lasting.
Another tip is to reduce your travel on public transport (especially Ubers), if you usually get the bus or tram to the university grounds but you don’t actually live too far from university, and you could actually walk there, then do so. Public transport is only getting more expensive and hopefully the weather is better in summer, so you may as well make the most of it and get a walk in. Walking is also a great way to de-stress when you are revising for your exams.
Another big spender for university students is takeaways. So, try and limit yourself to one a week. Or only buy one when you have received an offer.
There are a lot of small changes you can make to try and save as much money as possible for your summer term. You will want to make the most of your summer and do as much as possible so you will only thank yourself when it comes to the summer term, and you have spare money left over! Try things like moving away from takeaways and cooking at home. Or walking into town instead of grabbing an Uber.