The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

A student’s guide to budgeting

If you’re bad at keeping track of your money, take a look at our useful budgeting tips to help make your student loan go further

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We have all been there — having to turn down a night out because you don’t have enough money. However, having a lack of money as a poor student should never get in our way of having a great time. Sit down and create a budgeting plan for at the start of the academic year, you will make your money last longer and never have to miss a night out again. There are more ways than you imagined to prevent the good times turning bad. Here are six top tips on budgeting as a student:

1. Make a plan

Make a list of the items you need to buy in the foreseeable future and start thinking about how to get it. Plan for affordability, not desirability. Budgeting weekly or monthly expenses in advance will help you save a lot.

2. Make the most of your student discounts

Use your student ID to pick up discounted items and pay restaurant food bills. If you don’t notice a discount advertised, just ask. Not everywhere will offer discounts, but if you don’t ask, you never get. A key part of budgeting is realising where you can get discounts, and using them.

3. Play with eBay

There are always loads of bargains hidden on eBay, good news for your budgeting needs. You do need some patience to dig out those hidden, less bid-on, auctions. Many people like you are searching for products online — so why not put your unwanted items online and sell them? This might generate the money to meet other needs. All you need to do is photograph the items, put them online, keep track of the app and ship them.

4. Stay away from expensive shops

We’ve all been there — luxurious window displays enticing you in, despite their hefty price tag. Avoid temptation straight off and just steer clear of those expensive shops. Keep track of the plan you have made and make it work.

5. Save money eating out at restaurants

Being a student often means loads of social events, and eating out at restaurants. Whilst you want to keep your friendships going, it is important to remember that you don’t need to break the bank. See if you can split a starter with your buddy and skip the dessert. Don’t be afraid to say no if your budget can’t stretch that far.

6. Enjoy yourself

Most importantly, student life is meant to be fun. So never let financial pressure ruin your experience. As long as you are mindful of your budget, you won’t miss out or find yourself panicking about money.