Being a student means being poor. But it doesnít mean you don’t get to enjoy yourself. Learning to manage money successfully is a big part of becoming an adult and there are many clever routes around the fact youíre not earning yet.
There was a time when full-time jobs were the thing, but today, there are more part-time jobs available than ever before. This is great for students who can only dedicate a finite amount of time to working. And if you canít find a ìjobî, try freelancing. Earning your own money will give you a greater sense of independence, while topping up your loan and minimise your reliance on credit.
There are vouchers for everything these days – 2for1 this half-price that ñ wherever you look in Britain today, there will be a deal on offer somewhere. Keep your eye out and take advantage while they are there.
Not all deals are designed to help you save money. British supermarkets were recently criticised for misleading customers with offers that gave no actual discount. Donít take the supermarketís word for it; do the maths: is it really cheaper to buy two for £5, or singularly? Donít get conned.
Look for Bursaries
All universities have bursaries on offer. Some are loudly advertised on their website, while others are hidden away. There are also hundreds of grant-awarding trusts, charities and commercial companies and industry bodies with money available to students. Some are means tested, while others are associated with subject, location, or course.
Fixing a budget is probably the most important decision youíll make at university. It will dictate the type of lifestyle youíll have while studying and after youíve graduated. Consider that every penny you borrow will have to be paid back at some stage once youíre in full-time employment. And take some advice from Mum and Dad. Theyíve been budgeting for a long time.
Choose Your University Wisely
For some going to University is as much about the city and lifestyle as it is the education on offer. The further south you head, the higher the cost of living gets. Look north for some excellent universities and much cheaper rentals, loaf of bread and pint of beer.
Healthy eating is very important and it is possible on a student loan. Make your meals in bulk and freeze them in individual portions. This means thereís always nutritious food in the freezer and you wonít be living on pizza.
The great thing about water is that itís free to drink and itís vital for good body and brain function. Itís also your best hangover cure. Drinking a litre of water everyday rather than a litre of coke will save you around £1.50 every day and approximately £550 a year. It will also lessen the need for expensive dental work.
Modes of Transport
Signing up for your student railcard and bus pass is one of the first things you should do during Freshersí Week. If you prefer it, get a bike. Not only does it reduce the daily cost of getting about, it also keeps you fit. Itís also worth investing in some insurance for your bike, in case of theft, or damage.