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5 tips for getting by financially

Are you a student? Check out the tips for making ends meet from private economist Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen.

3 min
English / Dansk

No stress! Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen, Chief Analyst and Private Economist at Danske Bank, offers her best advice on how to manage your money during your studies so you can both afford the electricity bill and the beer bong at the Roskilde Festival.

Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen is Chief Analyst and Private Economist at Danske Bank where she started in a student job. Photo: Rune Lundø

1) Know your income and expenses

Getting a good overview of your finances is the most important thing. When you leave home, new expenses will arise that perhaps you didn’t think of before. It could be anything from the water and heating bills to toilet paper.

Draw up a budget, in Excel for example, and track where all your money goes. There is nothing wrong with spending money on good times, but you need to have an overview to prevent your consumption from slipping. It is about staying on top of it and keeping an eye on your finances online.

2) A boring insurance policy can be a life-saver

Unless you have a money vault the size of Scrooge McDuck’s, it is huuugely important to have proper insurance.

Your finances can be turned upside down if your computer crashes or your bicycle is stolen.

Be sure to take out the most basic home contents insurance and personal accident insurance. Some young people may be covered by their parents’ insurance until they turn 21, so check with your parents first.

A State Educational Loan (SU-lån) is included in your total debt, and your debt impacts your possibilities of taking out a mortgage loan for your first home.
- Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen, Chief Analyst, Danske Bank

3) Want to live downtown or inexpensively?

The amount of rent you pay decides if you can get by on a State Educational Grant (SU) alone. And there is a lot to save if you move out of the city where you study. Staying at a ‘kollegie’ (hall of residence) is another way of reducing your expenses. You will need to ask yourself where you are willing to make compromises.

Perhaps you could also discuss it with your parents to see if they can help you get in on the housing market. For example, you will need money for a deposit, often amounting to three months’ rent.

You might also be eligible for housing benefit, a grant offered by the government.

4) Spare time job or student loan?

Finding an affordable place to live can be difficult, and it can therefore make good sense that you either work during your studies or use the cheap loan opportunity in the form of a State Educational Loan (SU-lån).

If you want to work during your studies, you should consider how to organise your time. While time is the primary factor speaking against a student job, getting appropriate professional experience during your time as a student is one of the things speaking in favour of a job. I worked a lot during my studies, and I am now employed where I started in my student job.

The SU-lån is practically the only loan you can get with no attention being paid to your ability to pay it back; you have to keep this in mind yourself.

A State Educational Loan (SU-lån) is included in your total debt, and your debt impacts your possibilities of taking out a mortgage loan for your first home. You will therefore need to think carefully about how much debt you want to accumulate while you study.

5) Save up money, even if it is only DKK 100

Now, let’s get serious. You will need to start saving early to build up a buffer.

That way, you will have a nest egg for elevated costs of food and energy, not to mention ease of mind when it comes to extra bills.

Even small amounts will contribute to your savings; it is as much about getting into a routine of saving and putting money aside each month.

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