Students should take all the necessary steps before the start of the academic year to ensure that their basic funding provision is in place. Taking the time to think about your spending each academic year can make a real difference to your financial situation.
Good ways to manage your money
The only way you can be in control of your money is to be aware how much you have and how you are spending it. Follow the simple steps below to plan your budget effectively.
- Make a list of your termly / monthly income and expenditure according to how your money is received / paid out. This should include any government and University funding you receive and any other awards or paid vacation work.
- Deduct all the large one-off payments for the term / month such as fees, rent and any other important bills.
- Include an additional allowance for regular direct debits, such as monthly mobile phone bills or insurance payments.
- Include additional money for the vacation; if you are going home this should include transport costs and if you are staying in Oxford this should include additional living costs and rent.
- Work out what is left over each month / term and deduct an extra amount for emergencies or unexpected expenditure. You should then be left with the amount of money that is available for you to spend, which can be converted to a weekly amount. You may also need to take into account any weeks where you incur a higher level of expenditure such as the start of the academic year.
It is important to bear in mind that the amount you have remaining is not necessarily the amount you need. If you can afford to set some money aside you should, especially as the amount of funding you receive might vary between years.
- Consider moving over any unspent funds once a month into a savings account attached to your current account. That way you can avoid spending this money unnecessarily.
- Ensure you do not overspend by finding a method that suits you best to determine exactly how much income you need:
- You could note every withdrawal, always get receipts when you withdraw money or put something on your card (even if it is a small amount). This will allow you to ensure that you do not overspend.
- If you do not like to write everything down, get into a habit of requesting to see your balance when you withdraw money, you need to know how much you have to spend.
- If either of the above options are not suitable, withdraw the amount of money you are able to spend at the beginning of a week. Then, put all cards away until you can make the next withdrawal. In this way, you can keep complete control over your finances and ensure that you know what is happening.
You will find that there are members of staff in college who can give you advice on money management. Advice is also available from Oxford University Student Union. Be in control of your own spending and finances to ensure you avoid worrying about it.