How to manage your student budget

How can you get your budget into shape?

Across the wider media, students often get a bad name for using their allowances and money for frivolous reasons. However, while some students may well do this, there is another group who are very wise with their finances and have enough for all their various responsibilities including accommodation, food and transport.

So, if you're a student, what are the best ways to manage your budget? While it will depend on your personal situation, there are several common themes that can help anyone control their bottom line.

As such, here are three ways to improve your financial skills.

1) Determine your total income

If you are new to the world of budgeting, the first step is to determine how much money you have coming in and out of your accounts. For example, calculate your rent, transport, food, bills and other spending per week/month and compare with incoming money such as wages.

At the end of this process, you might find that the two figures are not balanced. As such, you might be losing money rather than saving, so changes will need to be made.

Calculate your total incoming and outgoing money.Calculate your total incoming and outgoing money.

2) Cut back in key areas

Implementing budget restraints will soon start to add up over several months, weeks or even years.

With a clear view of where your money is going, it is time for a bit of honesty. Be selective about which expenses are necessary and what others are luxury and could be cut back. For example, if you cooked food instead of bought takeaways during the weekdays, you could save a significant amount of money.

Again, while it depends on your individual situation, the changes don't have to be considerable. Implementing budget restraints will soon start to add up over several months, weeks or even years. At the end of the day, financial responsibility during higher education can set the foundation for budgeting in later life.

3) Reach out for support early

When money is tight or the situation is concerning you, it is easy to say nothing. While this will save your pride, it could put you in a worse financial position in the future. As such, if you want to improve your budgeting skills or get advice on how to manage your finances, it's vital to seek assistance early.