It was National Student Money Saving Week earlier this month, launched by the National Association of Student Money Advisers.
All right, don't get too excited. But let's be honest, the timing couldn't be better - half way through second term, just when your account balance is making the average squirrel's acorn stash look like a well-managed hedge fund. But to get through the rest of a lean winter, you don't have to go into hibernation. All you have to do is budget, and it's not that hard:
- Add up your income - including your student loan, any grants or scholarships, money from your parents, income from your job and any savings you have somehow scraped together (well done you!).
- Take out your essential outgoings - rent, house bills like electric, internet and tv license, transportation costs, books for the rest of the term and food.
- Whatever's left over you can spend on the important stuff, like clothes, cat toys, ping-pong lessons, trips to Hawaii, etc.
Break it down. First set up a monthly budget with all of your outgoings, then a weekly budget for regular costs like transportation, socialising and food. For example, if your monthly food budget is £200, you'll have just under £50 per week to spend on groceries.
Our budget calculator could help you work it out. There are also useful budgeting apps you can use on your phone like Ynab and Unsplurge, and many of them are free. They'll help you keep track of your daily spending and on top of your budget.