It is always worth paying some thought to your finances and how you will mange them while at uni. It might be the first time you’ve had to manage your own money or cover your own costs. It is easy to get in a mess which may stay with you long after graduation so work together with your parents to figure out what you need to budget for and how you are going to cover it. You may need to consider getting a part time job or taking out a student loan.
Knowing what to expect will put you on a fantastic footing for managing your finances successfully. University fees are on average £9000 per year. On top on this you will need to budget for accommodation, food, leisure activities, personal items like clothing and toiletries, travel, books and equipment and insurance. Print out our handy budget planner, to help you get your head round what you will need to pay for and how you will manage.
Review your spending
If you are organised enough to use the monthly budget planner, it will help you to identify any areas of complete over spend where you can cut back. Having more money going out then coming in is a common worry for students, there may however be ways you can make the most of the money you do have. Little things soon add up, a takeaway here and there a taxi when you could take a bus, brand new books when pre-loved editions are just as good. If shopping is your downfall look at charity shops or even better swishing events where you can swap your good quality, unwanted items for new threads. If there isn’t one near you, talk to your university about hosting one.
Student Bank Accounts
Opening up a student bank account is a great idea. Banks are competitive and many have additional student friendly facilities and incentives like travel cards, 0% incremental over draft facilities and exclusive discount vouchers. Shop around for the best account to suit your needs and remember to take your proof of ID and your UCAS confirmation letter to confirm your eligibility. The benefits of a student account often carry on long after graduation when preferential graduate rates and offers are often applied to your account.
- Use your NUS card whenever you can, 10% might not always seem like a lot but it’s money that is staying in your pocket and every little helps
- If you have a part time job, make sure that you are not paying too much tax. A quick call to the tax office should clear up any queries -0845 300 0627
- Work where you shop- enjoy a staff discount at your favourite shop whether it’s a supermarket or a clothes shop, staff discount is an added perk that all working students should embrace.
- Don’t buy new books- borrow, share or buy pre-loved books, it will save you a small fortune
- Shop around for insurance- there are great deals to be had, check out moneysavingexpert.com
- Learn to cook- your money will go much further then buying over priced takeaways and convenience food
- Sell things like old phones, CDs, games and clothing you no longer want or need. Electronic auction sites are a great way to recoup some of your cash from unwanted items. Remember to always factor in the postage though.
- Keep away from store cards and additional lending that you don’t need- with high APRs they can take an incredibly long time to pay off
- Shop around- Always check if something is cheaper elsewhere before you buy and only buy what you really need