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Top 5 Tips to Balance Student Life with Adulting

Students often struggle with budgeting and prioritise the social aspect of student life above those basic needs. This article will offer advice and tips to make the most of your time as a student while saving money.

1. Set yourself a weekly budget

More often than not students see a large sum of money enter their bank accounts and think that they have hit the jackpot, most see this and think that the money will, of course, last them until the end of term not thinking that setting themselves a budget is vital.

Most students rely on family or student finances to provide the money, however, while they themselves do not have to think about where the money is coming from they also do not think about ensuring that the money will last them until the next instalment. This often leaves students living off of pesto pasta and pot noodles to ensure they make it through until they're home for the holiday.

The best tip is to set a weekly budget, often this can be done by finding out how many weeks there is each term, and dividing the set amount of money by this, usually, this varies between £80-£120. Sticking to a budget enables students to learn how to balance money with their social life, while also allowing them to not make cutbacks closer to the end of term.

2. Prioritise what is important

Often students will prioritise the social aspect and prefer spending money towards trips to the pub or on nights out. However, students should focus on the essentials such as food, and leave the rest of the week's budget to use as they see fit.

In order to ensure this, the sooner in the week a food shop is done ensures that you have enough funds for the whole week. Try and write a food shop before you go out, this ensures that you will only purchase what you need and won't end up buying 3 cans of Pringles that you don't need because they're on offer.

Meal planning is also a proactive method to ensure that you only buy what you need, as before you have arrived at the supermarket you have made a conscious effort to decide what you want to eat this week rather, than leaving it until you're stood in the middle of the aisle.

3. Utilise student discounts and sales

Most students universally know about student discount apps, and most even have accounts; however, they forget to check and utilise these discounts and deals. Apps such as UNIDAYS and Student Beans, offer deals for just about everything from 6 months free of Amazon Prime to 10% off at Office. Just by checking before you click the checkout button or choosing where to eat, you could save money, even 10% off while it doesn't seem a lot will still save you a few pounds which can then be spent elsewhere.

Another way is to be aware of 2-4-1 offers and happy hours around bars and pubs near you, bars in particular often offer deals and a happy hour either Monday to Thursday or Friday, specifically for students. To find out when these are check on their website or even Instagram as they may post when they have a special deal.

4. Create a new student bank account

While this isn't vital, if you don't trust yourself to stick with a budget and not touch any future money, creating an additional bank account could be useful, banks such as Monzo are popular for this.

This would allow you to transfer the weekly budget into a separate account ensuring that the other funds aren't touchable. Having a separate account ensures that you stick to the budget set and also enables budgeting for the week in itself, as money will need to be saved for the weekend if not there will be no funds. A separate account enables a safety net for budgeting, most of which you can control as to how much of an overdraft you want, however, this can also be risky as students forget that this money has to be paid back at a later date.

5. Not all activities cost money

While a lot of a student's social life can be expensive, there many activities cost very little to no money at all.

Go on a walk, or if that doesn't sound fun explore. Walking around your accommodation or the city can be a fun activity to do as a group. You may discover a part of the city that you've never seen before, a cafe that you think would be good to study, or the pub with the best Sunday roast in the city to visit again. No matter how long you've lived there or how well you think you know the city there will always be something new to explore.

Another activity is games, Uno is highly popular and a great use of entertainment. It can become highly competitive and you and your friends can create additional rules to make the game more interesting. Uno can also double up as a card-drinking game as various people have created rules to encourage drinking while playing, this could be great entertainment or an icebreaker at pres.

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