Surviving the money storm

By Jodie Loaring

So, you’re just a couple of weeks into your new ocean of liberty, and already there’s a lot of month left at the end of your money. Fresher’s Week has smashed a threatening dent into that first loan payment, looking through statements of unfamiliar transactions fills you with dread and confusion – Fiction & Myu must be where I bought my books, right? Riiiiight????? – and you’re left with what feels like pitiful pennies to last you through until Christmas. Now that the Diva’s glitter has settled, it’s time to kick in to money survival mode.

Control your Cash
Yup, just a more interesting way of saying “budget” *cringe*. But seriously, it can make all the difference in ensuring you get your priority bills paid and leave some over for yourself. Many 2nd & 3rd year students have come to us saying they wish they’d taken control of their cash early on rather than panicking month to month. There are heaps of apps you can use to help, which also identify peaks in your spending. Or you can use the cash technique of only withdrawing what you need for the week and leaving the debit card at home or in a locked up safe, in a vault, under the sea. Or why not make use of the budget sheet we have kindly and conveniently made for you and is downloadable at www.swansea.ac.uk/money-campuslife. You’re welcome.

Eat yourself richer
I dare you to count how much you have spent on takeaway food in the last month. I’ll give you a minute…Frightening isn’t it? And worst of all, how many of those were actually good? Very few I’m guessing. There’s a lot to be said for adulting when it comes to food. You can save so much money, and, if you live with others, getting your heads together with sharing food costs and cooking can make such a difference to your wellbeing as well as your wallet. Cooking together truly does go a long way in cementing relationships through simply being together and taking time out from the chaos of academic pressures. And just think, if you live with six housemates and you cook on Monday, you get to put your feet up for the rest of the week! And cooking needn’t be an inconvenience. For example, slow cookers may remind you of your Granny, but can you really groan about a pot that you can throw a load of stuff in and by the time you get home has cooked you a chilli that will last you a few days? It’s like magic! Head over to Taste of Home from Money@CampusLife. It’s an initiative set-up specifically to help students with all things foodie-related. We have simple but delicious recipes, Youtube videos, cooking demos and competitions to win things such as…..a slow cooker! Follow us on Insta @money.campuslife or check out the website tasteofhomeswansea.co.uk for details.

A pick up that won’t let the world down
Ditch the takeaway coffee. It hurts I know but a takeaway coffee of £3 a day equates to £1095 a year. That’s a holiday. Not only is that a lot of cash down the drain but also a lot of plastic damaging the planet (did you know takeaway coffee cups are not recyclable?). So, think of it this way – if you make your own coffee, you are literally saving the world. On Insta @money.campuslife, we are giving away a fancy coffee maker, so no need for boring instant either!

Don’t fret, we are here
Of course, sometimes these hints and tips do not cut it in the short term and you simply need a helping hand financially. That’s where we come in. Money@CampusLife are available to assist with any financial queries or woes, from budgeting to help with Student Finance. We also operate a fund called the Swansea University Opportunity Award, which is available to those who are experiencing financial difficulty. UK/EU students who are enrolled are eligible to apply and only their individual circumstances are assessed. And if you’re an International student, come speak to us about the International Crisis Fund. Awards are not guaranteed but if you are granted an award, you do not need to pay it back. Applications are on intranet.swan.ac.uk/StudentHardship.

Any questions, you can email us on money.campuslife@swansea.ac.uk or call on 01792 606699. But if you prefer a chat with someone face to face, we offer drop-in appointments on both campuses: Park Campus: (Keir Hardie Building, opposite the Library) Monday: 9.30am – 12.30pm Tuesday: 1.00pm – 4.00pm Thursday: 9.30am – 12.30pm Bay Campus: (Tower Information Centre) Monday: 1.00pm – 4.00pm Tuesday: 9.30am – 12.30pm Thursday: 1.00pm – 4.00pm.

Phew, that got a bit serious then! Talking about money can be a real drag if you aren’t winning it, amirite? But university can be the greatest time of your life and you’ll sail through the calmer seas if you are kind to yourself and your bank balance!

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