Well, now is the best time to start thinking about your student finances, according to Salford student accommodation provider Portergate.

Drawing up and sticking to a budget it is vital – and it is something new students and their parents should be looking at now.
Financial website This Is Money has come up with a simple checklist to get you started. And it is well worth a look. The main rules that it has come up with are simple. But they will help get you thinking about the challenges ahead. It pays to start now, putting together some practice budgets and working out and challenging the figures to get them right. It will get you in the right frame of mind to manage your money right from the start of your university life. Assuming that your university fees are already paid, here is the This Is Money “plan of action”:

• Work out what’s available to spend (loans, grants, income from job etc.)
• Work out likely costs (prioritise necessities)
• Put a weekly cap on certain types of spending (nights out, takeaways etc.)
• Keep tabs as you go (use bank statements as a tool to help)

Don’t include any interest-free overdraft when you work out your income – remember it is a cushion. For more tips from This Is Money click here. The site includes money saving tips and ways to cut costs, as well as advice on student loans, current accounts and part time and holiday work.

Getting your student finances right is vital to ensuring your university experience is a positive one. That means looking at all aspects, from getting the best current account to making the very most from the student loan system. And, at the heart of it all, is managing your finances properly. So take time now and make sure you get it right.