Planning out how you’re going to use your student loan is important to avoid over spending and being left a week before SAASmas (SAAS day is basically like Christmas once a month) with no money. There are obvious things to add into your budget like rent and food, but along with those there are things you’re bound to forget about in favour of splurging in Urban Outfitters and takeaway for dinner every day of the week.
We’ve put together a list of 10 things you should probably budget for that you most likely forgot about until right now.
When you move away from home, you’ll probably dread having to do your own washing but one thing you might not think about is how much it will cost you. Chances are, you aren’t going to have a washer and dryer like you do at home, so if you live in student halls it’s normally around £4 or £5 each time you do a wash.
Toiletries are the main thing that seems to go forgotten when thinking about what you’ll need to buy in the month. This could include a range of things from makeup wipes to shampoo and deodorant. When making a list for food shopping add on your toiletries so that their cost isn’t unexpected – and toiletries tend to be cheaper in the supermarket too!
3. Nights out
Whether it’s drinks for pres, money for entry to where you’re going, the inevitable drunk McDonalds or a taxi home at the end of the night, you’ll probably forget to account for nights out when planning your spending. It’s important to think about this so that you can have a set amount of cash to spend with you and avoid the dreaded night out card use.
4. In case of emergency
No matter how sensible or organised you are, every once in a while there will be something to pay for that you didn’t expect. Whether you smash your phone screen or lose the fob to your halls it’s always good to have a little money left over after you budget just in case.
5. Impulse buys
Even if you’re the most self-disciplined person the world has ever seen, we all have weak moments like seeing that perfect jacket and knowing you need it even though you already have eight others. Not allowing yourself a treat now and then will backfire in the same way not being allowed yourself chocolate on a diet does and you’ll end up spending more than if you set yourself a small limit each month for yourself.
Every student has probably faced the dreaded moment of checking your bank balance and your account being overdrawn because you forgot that Netflix came out that week. Keeping a list of all the subscriptions and direct debits you have and when they come out is important to keep your bank balance and credit rating positive.
7. New books
When double SAAS comes in in September and you buy everything you need for your new classes you’ll probably think that’s it. A lot of universities change classes in the second semester which could mean that you have to buy new books that you didn’t account for. Looking through course handbooks and schedules is a good way to avoid this unpleasant surprise.
Travelling in a city can be expensive especially if it’s unexpected. Unless you live a fair distance away from where you study and have already accounted for bus or train fares, you’ll probably be determined to walk and save money. This is practical until it’s 2 degrees with hail stones and you decide to take the subway or a taxi instead.
Lunches at uni or college can be affordable but it isn’t always something you think about even when planning out your food budget. The best way to avoid overspending on food is taking your lunch from home. Taking a packed lunch with you might seem a little silly at first but it won’t be when your friends are spending £6 a day and you just used the extras from your weekly shop.
10. Sneaky additional costs
Additional costs at university or college could be a host of different things. Some courses require you to do a lot of projects or posters which might need printing. Wherever you study they probably have a room which holds ‘print services’, they’ll print your work for you at a lower cost than if you were to use the library printers or do it yourself at home and need to buy ink and a printer. Other additional costs are things like sports memberships so that you can attend clubs along with society costs.