How to make the most of your student loan

February 10, 2016 / Read

We all know that you can borrow money to help pay for the cost of university fees and living costs. Making the most of your student loan and stretching it as far as possible is important if you don’t want to face endless meals of baked beans and pot noodles.

Most students are fresh out of school or college and have probably never had a large sum of money in their bank accounts, so it’s no surprise when the excitement of fresh cash burns a hole in their pockets. Of course not all students blow the budget, but you can see how the temptation is there. You may remember the student that spent a whopping £1000 in one purchase the day he got his loan…

So how do you avoid this situation? Take our advice - budget, budget and resist!

With the next instalment of Wonga due in the next few weeks, we give you our top 5 tips to make the most of your loan when it comes.

#1 Budget the Cuisine

We all love to chow down but making the most of your loan means budgeting – even when it comes to essentials such as food. Avoid eating out to much and when supermarket shopping opt for own brands. You can potentially halve your shopping bill by going for value products rather than big brands – you may even prefer them! You could potential save £80 per month.

#2 Don’t Miss Out On Your UNiDAYS Discount

UNiDAYS offer offers and promotions exclusively for students from a huge range of high street retailers (including Ryman!)

#3 Rent or Borrow Your Literature

Don’t head out and spend a small fortune on your reading list for the term, head down to your local library and borrow whatever you need. Your university will also have a well-stocked library and you should take full advantage of it. Failing that ask other people on your course if they have the book you need– and borrow it! If you do need to buy new do your research and find the cheapest deal on-line.

#4 Get a part time job (if you don’t already have one)

Earning and supplementing your loan is probably the most effective way of making you cash comfortable while you study away from home. Go for a job that won’t impact your learning (avoid bar jobs with late nights) and ensure that you are paid at least the minimum wage per hour.

#5 Budget

Work out what you have coming in and compare that to what’s going out. You can then work out how to spend/save whatever is left. It’s obvious, but you need to ensure you never spend more than you have coming in per month. You can take your Student loan and divide it by the amount of months until your next instalment, add that to any earnt income or money from Ma or Pa and that’s the amount you have to play with each month.

If you still need advice about money while at University check out the Brightside Student Calculator a great tool to help you keep track of your student loan, spare cash and building a budget.

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