Work out what a week in the life of your money should look like by downloading our budget planner for students 1.
How to fill out a budget planner
First thing's first, you need to work out what your monthly income is – so that's your loan, grants, any support you get from family and any wages you earn from a part-time job. If you have any savings you're going to use throughout the year, add in how much of this you want to use each month. Divide this figure by 4.5 and you'll have your weekly income.
Next, your monthly outgoings – things like rent, travel, food and bills. Again, divide by 4.5 to get your weekly regular outgoings. Then you need to subtract your weekly regular outgoings from your weekly income to find out what you've got left over for everything else.
Work out what you’re spending on little (and big) extras, and you'll have all the figures you need to see a week in the life of your money.
Whatever you have after you take your regular weekly outgoings from your weekly income is your rough weekly budget. Knowing what you’re working with each week means you can decide what to prioritise and what you can do without.
Creating a budget that still lets you have some fun with your money can be tricky, especially if you haven’t got very much to move around. So don't worry if your first printout is more scribbles than savings. Print out a couple copies – and when your money makes sense, get a clean copy filled out and stuck up on the fridge, where you can use it to focus on your finances.
If things go to plan, you shouldn’t find yourself eating beans and toast 3 meals a day in your last week of term.
Money expert Jasmine Birtles from Moneymagpie 2 says after with a bit of planning, budgeting shouldn’t be a chore.
'When it comes to food shopping, think ahead about what you're going to cook, and get together with friends in your house to buy in bulk and cook as a group – sharing is a great way to save money. At the very least, think about the meals you can make in the next week or so that will be cheap and nutritious, and just buy the ingredients for those.'
And don’t forget to watch your bank account: 'There’s nothing more annoying, financially speaking, than losing money. This is why it’s a really good idea to keep an eye on your bank account. By checking it once or twice a week online, you can make sure you don’t go over your agreed overdraft limit and get charged extra for it.'