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Advice on budgeting by NASMA watch

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    Got a question about how you can budget and save money at uni or college? Our experts are here to help.

    Claire has been a Student Finance Advisor for more than 20 years. She has a wealth of experience in student finance topics and money management.

    Please be aware all answers will be posted on Wednesday 14 February.
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    I am a university student who, after expenditure, gets around £30 a week to play around with. I think it is better to invest this rather than have it sitting in my bank account. I don't need huge profits or need to be one of those 'Turn your £100 in to £100,000 by using this method!' people, I just want to know what type of trading/investment would be best for my budget. Also please keep in mind that I am a student so I'm not free 9-5 every day - the income would be passive.
    Thank you
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    I don’t have a clear understanding on how I would survive if I move out for uni, do you rely solely on student finance for rent and food. I don’t come from a very rich Home, so my parents at most can spare me about 50-100 a month. I’m gonna work while at uni but job hunting is difficult when the uni hasn’t been chosen because result days in a long time.
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    (Original post by dakofsta)
    I am a university student who, after expenditure, gets around £30 a week to play around with. I think it is better to invest this rather than have it sitting in my bank account. I don't need huge profits or need to be one of those 'Turn your £100 in to £100,000 by using this method!' people, I just want to know what type of trading/investment would be best for my budget. Also please keep in mind that I am a student so I'm not free 9-5 every day - the income would be passive.
    Thank you
    Unfortunately how you would invest is very different to how others would do it and so you are best to research this yourself to consider the elements of risk involved in the many options available. I did a simple search resulting in plenty of free advice. Heres a few links -


    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/sa...saving-account

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...-place-for-you

    I would suggest you continue to save your £30 a week for the time being whilst you decide where to invest and even when you have decided you may want to consider keeping a little bit of money in a savings account for those unexpected expenses. Some investments are not accessible once you have parted with your cash so take your time to choose.
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    (Original post by Itsthe)
    I don’t have a clear understanding on how I would survive if I move out for uni, do you rely solely on student finance for rent and food. I don’t come from a very rich Home, so my parents at most can spare me about 50-100 a month. I’m gonna work while at uni but job hunting is difficult when the uni hasn’t been chosen because result days in a long time.
    For some students funding for living costs and rent is made up from a number of areas. Student Support, a part-time job, parents, savings and even grandparents. The best way to determine what the right decision is for you, create a general income vs expenditure budget. Once you have received your student support notification from Student Finance England or regional equivalent, you can then make a start. It is likely that your support from the government will be your main income so initially, include this support and the support your parents can provide you. Depending on the length of your programme, I would suggest you divide this amount by at least 40 weeks. Then consider your expenditure. Thinking about your first choice HEI, include the rent and other programme related expenses such as travel (if the halls are not close to the campus for example), food and personal care costs, insurance, Freshers week and socialising, laundry and other costs that are relevant to your circumstances. Now compare how they work out. If you have a shortfall you will have a clear idea how much you need from part-time work.

    Here are some links to help you with a basic budget -

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/st...geting-planner


    https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergradu...get-calculator

    Remember, if you have a shortfall, as well as part-time work (which your chosen HEI will able to help you with), you may also qualify for a bursary or scholarship. Check with your chosen University to see whether you qualify. Many of these are cash which could go a long way to top-up your budget.
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    (Original post by CaitlinM1)
    I was just wondering how people who are already students find being vegan at uni because it worries me moving away from home that it will be much more expense than the average cost for food each week as well as any other advice please
    Much appreciated
    I am not a vegan however, I would suggest that vegan eating need not cost any more than other food types if you look around for the best places to shop. As part of a budget, consider the area of your chosen HEI and research local markets and supermarkets. Shopping around will be key to keeping the budget down however you choose to eat. There are also plenty of receipes online for eating vegan on a budget.

    Here's a link to one -

    https://www.vegansociety.com/resourc...t/vegan-budget
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    To ensure a smooth start at the start of the academic year, it is highly recommended that you apply for your student support as soon as the application cycle opens and meet the deadline for submission of additional information and evidence. This way you will ensure that your first maintenance loan payment is made to you on time. Receiving support payments on time will allow you to stick to your budget and pay those essential first bills thus preventing any additional and unnecessary charges.

    If something does go wrong though, ask your HEI what help they can provide you as an interim whilst you wait for the payment of your maintenance loan.
    Sometimes these are referred to as Short Term Loans. They are not the same as highstreet or bank loans and do not charge interest.
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    With contactless card payments and other App payment schemes available almost everywhere, it is easy to lose track of your spending. There are a few things you can do to prevent these smaller purchases building up and destroying your budget -

    1) Ensure that you have a student bank account with a real time updating App so that you can constantly view your accounts.
    2) Consider having at least 2 accounts, one for your income (maintenance loan, parental support, salary etc.) to be paid into and Direct Debits to come out from and another one that you move your weekly (or monthly if you are really organised) budget allowance in to. Only take out the debit card for the allowance account and use this one for App purchases. If you want to be really strict with yourself, you could have a third where you move leftovers to. These savings can then help you with any unexpected expenditure, over the summer at home or to allow yourself a treat when it has built up.
    3) Download a spending App. These often have built in budget planners and alerts to remind you if you are getting close to your budget for the week/month.
    Here is a link to a Telegraph article released this week with the 5 top student budget apps.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...dget-apps.html
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    That's the end of the webchat – thanks very much to Claire!
 
 
 
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