Going to university may be the first time you’ve ever really had to budget for all of your own living expenses. Worrying about money isn’t going to help you enjoy student life, so follow our top tips and avoid any problems:
Get all the support you can
Have you made sure you’re getting every single one of the grants and benefits you’re entitled to? Double-check with our Student Welfare Team.
Prioritise and budget
There are some things you’ve simply got to pay regular set amounts for—like accommodation, utility bills, etc. Give these top priority and pay them first and on time. Then work out where your other big expenses will be; travel, food and materials, for example, and set yourself a weekly budget—then stick to it! The NUS budget calculator could help you.
Discounts & benefits
Wherever you can, take advantage of frequent-user discounts and benefits (railcards, bus passes, supermarket loyalty cards, etc). Shop around for those great ‘buy one, get one free’ deals. Remember to flash your NUS card as often as possible—and what about the NUS Extra Card? For just £12, it gets you discounts off books, student insurance, clothes, sports stuff, CDs, travel, computer gear, gigs, eating out… in the UK and abroad.
Credit & debit
Avoid putting regular spending on credit cards—it’s too easy to ‘forget’ paying them off, and you really don’t want to be wasting your money on high interest rates. But if cash burns a hole in your pocket, use your debit card as much as possible.
It’s easy to overlook insurance—but hard to cope without it when something goes wrong. You may think you’re covered by your parents’ household policy, but they often have limitations and exclusions when it comes to students’ possessions. Without a good policy, how would replace your phone? Your laptop? Your MP3 player? Your TV? Bike? Books? Endsleigh’s possessions calculator will help you work out what you need coverage for. But remember—insurers may not pay out if you’ve been careless, so take great care with security, and keep doors and windows locked.