Budgeting, Managing your money, New Students, Preparing for your future

3 Top tips for surviving the financial tightrope of student living

Victoria, our Advice & Money Student Intern, explains financial capability and shares her top tips for boosting yours…

There are two words every student should know, and they aren’t ‘baked beans’, ‘student discount’ or ‘pre-drinks’, although all these may be key phrases and phases in your time at Cardiff University. The two words are ‘financial capability’, and it will be one of the most useful skills you walk away from university with. Read on to find out what it is, if you have it and how to master it.


What is financial capability?

Financial capability is all about planning your budget, resisting a Dominoes, paying your rent on time, having enough money left to wash your underpants – you know, the real hard-hitting budgeting life skills. Financial capability is essentially being able to manage your money well. Surviving the financial tightrope of student living will test your financial capability, and in doing so boost your budgeting bravado.


How good is your financial capability?

It’s not about the amount of money that you have, but how well you use it. Are you a bourgeoning bargain hunting beast, or are you lacking in savvy-spending skills? Take our financial capability quiz and find out if you’re the budgeting master or the guilty-eyed patron of the student splurge.


Three tips to boost your financial capability:

  1. Know your dough

With all the internet and mobile banking available, it’s never been easier to keep track of your finances…


  1. Protect your pennies

Saving money through effective budgeting means you can have more to spend on the things that are important to you – whether it’s new sporting gear, a big night out or a night in with Netflix and a Balti King Korma. Protecting your student budget is about exerting self-control daily, like Mr Miyagi in the Karate Kid when he holds that karate position for a ridiculously long time. Resisting that costa coffee seems a lot easier in comparison, doesn’t it?


  1. Increase your income

The best way to increase your income is finding part-time work.

  • Cardiff University Jobshop can help you find casual work that suits you without set hours every week – so you don’t have to sacrifice studying or your social life.
  • Careers and Employability can also help with job hunting, writing a CV and finding work experience or internships.

A regular part-time job is a great way to rake in extra cash and make new friends, and if you find a job you like, it may not even feel like work! Find out more on how to earn while you enjoy, and secure the part-time job that’s right for you. However, you should bear in mind that your degree comes first. Cardiff University recommends that you don’t work more than 15 hours per week during term-time, so let employers know that they are giving you too many hours. Don’t let earning a few extra quid for a night out affect what you want to do in the future.


Watch our video, ‘The Basics of Budgeting’ for more help with budgeting



Hungry for more budgeting tips?

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Come and see us in Advice & Money

Student Support Services at Cardiff University are here to help you, please drop in or contact us should you have any questions. Telephone: 02920 874528 Email: adviceandmoney@cardiff.ac.uk.


Your feedback and help please

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Best wishes,

Victoria, Advice & Money Student Intern.


Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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