Niffy’s First Year Survival Guide: Finance

(Or how to avoid surviving on ten pounds for two weeks)

Apart from the responsibility to get to class on time, when you’re at university you also gain a lot of independence over your finances and this is where a lot of people fall down.

While in school I was lucky enough to have teachers and mentors who taught me about money management and the dos and don’ts of your early financial life. But not everyone was as lucky as I was and I saw a lot of people blow through their student maintenance far too quickly.

Budget your money

Phone calculator

Your student maintenance money is meant to last a few months so it is always wise to budget weekly or monthly.

When the money you budgeted runs out don’t be tempted to spend it unless it’s an emergency.

I like to check out TikTok or YouTube for more advice on finance for young people at university – money saving tips for students! is a good video to get you started.

Pitfalls

An overdraft is another easy way to land yourself in unnecessary debt at uni, as overdrafts allow you to spend money you don’t have in your debit account up to a certain amount. I learnt never to withdraw more than you have or more than you are capable of paying back (the same goes for buy now pay later services like Klarna) because debts pile up quickly.

Not only is it stressful but it’s also detrimental to your credit score which can impact your future ability to get a mortgage or loan.

Final thoughts to remember…
  • Don’t spend what you don’t have!! 
  • Your financial life starts now and you don’t want to leave uni with unnecessary debt

Check out Niffy’s other posts on how to survive your first year at uni:

And check out our post on Budgeting while at University with useful links to budget templates and calculators. UCAS, Money Saving Expert and Gov.uk are all good sources to learn more about managing your money at uni.

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