Let’s be honest we’ve all been there before. At the start of term your student loan makes its way into your bank account and you had that amazing feel that you’d won the lottery. Sadly, that money doesn’t last forever and you do find yourself scrimping and saving towards the end of term. Despite loving your time in Leeds I’m sure you are now pretty excited to go home for a few weeks safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to do a weekly food shop or how much your heating is costing you. But how do you definitely know when you’ve hit rock bottom and you’re at the end of your student loan? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
1. You’ve resorted to Super Noodles again!
When you first started uni your mum warned you not to eat super noodles for dinner every night and you probably laughed thinking, ‘no way! I’ve got more than enough money to buy all the food I want.’ WRONG! Food can actually be pretty expensive – especially when the nearest supermarket is Sainsbury’s. Don’t get me wrong you can often find some pretty good deals but for a full week’s shop you will probably find yourself spending £20+. I guess its beans from the tin (because let’s be honest, we’re students, no one washes up do they?) or super noodles…again!
2. Oh no! You’ve ended up drinking Lambrini
Face it, we have all been there and if you haven’t, well done! Drinking Lambrini (or worse as I have experienced ‘Le Peri’) makes you feel like a 16 year old at a not-very-well-planned-out house party. Nevertheless buying expensive wine and Grey Goose vodka is not an option so it’s either supermarket branded alcohol or Lambrini and being the classy ladies that we are, we often go for the cheap wine. Don’t worry though you’ll soon be sipping a glass of red with your meals at home!
3. A good night is an early night
Bed before 11pm, you must be kidding me? Every student loves to go out and party! Sadly, when you become short of money, nights in become more common than horsemeat in a lasagne. I know having a girly night watching films is cool but watching films every night does get a little boring after a while. Eventually you might even find yourself thinking about cleaning the kitchen for the first time since you moved into your house in September or looking for the reading list you were assigned at the start of term.
4. You can’t even afford bus fare
At the start of term you felt like a bit of a ‘Big Deal’ being able to hop in a taxi to town for your big nights out. But now you can’t even afford to get the bus to uni in time for those dreaded 9am starts. I know no one actually likes getting on an overcrowded bus but if it meant ten more minutes in bed then you don’t really mind spending a pound to get to uni. Unfortunately now you can’t even do that. You live 30 minutes’ walk away from campus, you have a 9am, you’re hung over and you have to walk to uni?! Good luck getting to class on time!
5. Your house has turned into an excavation site for money
Your house mates think you’ve gone Time Team crazy as you frantically dig around the back of the sofa, in the bottom of every bag you own and your jeans pocket for that 10p change you swear you saved for a time like this. If you’ve been logical maybe you will have saved all your pennies in a jar so you have maybe £5 spare – lucky you! If not, you’ll be checking your Nectar card, Tesco Club card and even your Boots advantage card to see if you have even a few pounds to spend. After all, every little helps, right?
Hopefully, you haven’t reached desperation and you can survive until the end of term with some ease. But if you are struggling with money you can gain advice in the Student’s Union where you’ll be given help on how to budget and save for the things you can’t live without or even how to apply for a bursary if you really need it or are entitled to one! Also, take this as a lesson so you can learn that when your student loan comes in next time you could maybe set aside money in case of an emergency or plan out how much you want to spend each week.