Student Loans have been in your accounts for at least 6 weeks now and we’re sure there are already some harsh lessons you’ve already learned! To guarantee that these things don’t happen again next term, read our tips on what not to do with your student loan – and some of them mean not spending! Gasp!
Buy a round
Student loans are lifesavers (literally!) but they can come at the wrong time. The majority of cases they enter your bank account before or during Fresher’s week and this can be terrible to ignore. You’ve made new friends and partying every night whilst you’re getting to know everyone in your Halls. But that also means your student loan is paying for drinks and your nights out, and when you’re intoxicated it’s easy to become over-friendly and offering to buy rounds. If you’ve worked out a system where your friends do actually pay you back – in money or alcohol – this will do bad things to your bank balance! Try to avoid buying other people drinks, especially as it can be difficult to keep a tally!
Yes, it can be even easier to buy things online and then not really comprehend how much you’re spending because you’re not physically in a shop or handing over cash. It’s simple to use your card online – and those student discounts! – And forget how much of your loan you’ve spent. Are you ready to live on beans on toast for 7 weeks now? If you are then carry on, and be sure to look at other student budgeting tips, too.
Buy something extravagant
You turn up to university and realise you have a lot more free time than you expected! Just because you’re bored doesn’t mean you should spend huge amounts on unnecessary things! Don’t be tempted to buy a TV, console or games to pass away the time. Buying something really expensive might make you feel good right now – because your card wasn’t declined – but it won’t when it is coming up to the end of term and you can’t pay your phone bill!
Not calculate your actual ‘budget’
It’s so easy to look at your bank balance and see all that money and cry ‘I’m rich! I’m finally rich!’, however, this isn’t ‘your’ money and it should be used, first, for the necessities. By necessities we mean, bills, food, rent, travel, textbooks and any direct debits you have. Then whatever is left over is your budget for whatever you want to buy. However, when you see all those numbers on your statement you forget to take out those ‘necessities’ and believe you won’t really spend that much anyway…
Lend someone money
Your classmate or neighbour has spent their entire student loan and you haven’t been that reckless. However, they might ask you for money. If it is a small amount, or you’re only lending it for a short period of time then you can only decide whether to lend them the money or not. Although, if it is quite a large amount and they have spent all of their loans within two weeks of receiving it then they might have to learn the hard way to try somewhere else. If they have been so reckless who’s to say that they will ever pay you back?
Rarely check your bank balance
As a student, and especially during Fresher’s week you should really check your bank balance daily! If you had a smashing night out before then you could have been flashing your card around like there’s no tomorrow! Checking your balance daily might help you spend less the next day, instead of looking at your balance two weeks later and realise all of those direct debits didn’t go out and you’ve been charged for an unplanned overdraft! Ouch!
To avoid painful realisations at university, make a budget, plan to spend, act responsible and check your bank balance and you should now know what not to do with your student loan. Also be sure to work out everything with understanding student bills, otherwise it could be a long year! Happy spending! (Or not!)
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