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Where does your money go?
Everyday essentials like food can eat into your funds if you don't keep an eye on them. But don't panic, these students are here to tell you how to keep your cash under control.
The urge to spend student loans and interest-free overdrafts as soon as you get them can be pretty strong. 'When I first got my student loan, I was amazed to see that much money in my account,' says Laura Forster, who studies Occupational Therapy at Oxford Brookes.
'My flatmates and I went shopping as a way to get to know each other, and in one month, I'd spent £900 on clothes, expensive food and taxis. By the time my second loan instalment arrived, I was living on baked beans.'
Expect the unexpected
Neil Bramley, who joined Barclays 6 years ago as a graduate trainee, knows from his own university days how quickly money disappears. Neil says the key to staying on top of your finances is to expect the unexpected. And how do you do that? Budget.
'Keep your receipts for your first month to watch how costs add up, and set limits,' he says. 'Be honest about how much you're spending and budget for little extras.'
Take action early
So what can you do if you find yourself facing overdraft charges, mounting credit card interest, or even legal action? 'If you're in trouble, contact your bank quickly,' says Neil. 'A small problem can easily become huge when it doesn't need to. Don't be frightened about talking to your bank. No one will judge you for having an overdraft – we've all been there.'
Top tips from savvy students
'Look for hairdressing academies and beauty colleges for cheap cuts and treatments.'
Ellie Broughton – MA Magazine Journalism, City University
'My pay-as-you-go mobile phone tariff was very expensive. After 3 months, I changed to a contract with fixed minutes. I wish I'd done it sooner.'
Denzil Pinto – MA Magazine Journalism, Kingston