Money Worry

Everybody who is or has ever been a student understands the tedious need to apply for loans, grants or bursaries and be subject to multiple evaluations and conditions. Getting a hold of Student Finance, both physically and mentally, is notoriously difficult, yet it's what comes afterwards that provides the serious problem for some applicants.

Managing your own finances at eighteen years old can be a hard job for those who have always had Mother and Father there, pulling the purse strings when things got out of hand. Similarly, others who haven't had any allowance from their parents before they moved out might suddenly turn wild in the glow of their hearty bank balance. Although it seems that spending masses on alcohol and good times is essential to a successful and enjoyable student lifestyle, it is not a sustainable method and therefore runs out pretty quickly, leaving a person rather stuck in the mud.

In my case, I do not have what is known as a Maintenance Loan, a loan that is based on household income and provides a certain amount of money for a student to live on when they move into university accommodation. I have my own savings from a job I had between turning 16 and leaving home, as well as £160 per month allowance I get from my parents, who take it from savings they put away for me since I was very young. This gives me £40 a week, a number which I try to stick to and, so far, I have made a very good job of it. Therefore, when the occasional friend of mine realizes they haven't been as wary of their own accounts, it's me that seems to be a good source of advice. I have three main concepts that I would like to share:

1. Work Out Your Weekly AllowanceWhether you're living off savings or loans, work out how much you have available, how many weeks you will need it for, then calculate what that leaves you with per week. Or, if you prefer, work out how much you have per day or perhaps per month- it depends if you work long term or short term in your head when it comes to keeping track of things like money.

2. Stick To That AmountOnce you've worked out your numbers, deal with it. If it means cutting back on household luxuries or nights out, then it's got to be done. Don't just panic and go to your bank begging for an extended overdraft; all that lends you is extra debt to pay off later down the line. If you want to learn how to keep on top of money, learn now, because it won't get any easier after you'v e graduated.

3. Make a NoteI picked up a little trick off my Mum that she's been doing as long as I can remember. She keeps a record of everything she spends, and where she has spent it. Admittedly, online banking will do this for most people but only if you're using your card. Keeping track of cash is equally as important if you have the stress of a budget. I do this by having a little scrap of paper in my purse, so I can write down what I have just spent and where I've just spent it. Having this record available makes it that much easier to keep a track of how much you have left for the rest of the week.

And that's it! Three easy steps to helping you feel better about your money problems.
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