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Making a student loan go further

Friday 17 August 2018, Money

by Swansea University

Making a student loan go further

Relevant to
Swansea University
We all know university is a big financial investment, and money often plays a part when deciding whether or not to continue into higher education.

Not only is it important to apply for student finance and find out what loans you’re entitled to, but you should also check what scholarships and bursaries may be available through your university – these often include academic/sporting/music scholarships, income-related bursaries, and departmental funding.

When you know how much you are going to be receiving over the academic year, you can begin to budget, which will ensure you get the most out of your income.

One of the first things to remember is that your student loan is typically paid in three instalments at the start of each term – this means that although your bank balance may look healthy to begin with, that amount will need to last you for the whole term.

To manage your money, it will be useful to split your income over months/weeks, as it will be easier to keep track of spending. When you have this information, you can put it into a budget calculator – these are quick free tools that make you think about your income and expenditure. It’s important to be realistic when using these tools.  Start with listing any potential income – this could include:
student loans
parental contributions
part-time work
scholarships
grants
any other income

When you’ve done this, you can work out your expenditure. List your priorities, to ensure you don’t miss essential payments. This may include
accommodation
groceries (food/drink/toiletries)
clothing
transport
social events
bills (mobile phone, music/TV subscriptions)
books/course expenditure
other

Finally, it’s important to monitor your spending regularly, and avoid any unnecessary money stresses that may affect your studying.