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How To Survive On A Student Budget

Are you a university student or considering going to university? It’s never been more expensive to be a student in the UK, particularly if you live in England and Wales where universities are able to charge up to £9000 per year for tuition fees. For an average undergraduate degree course, this means that students can expect to pay £27,000 in tuition fees alone and this doesn’t take account for accommodation and living costs. When these are added, this sees the average student now leaving university with a debt of £44,000.

 

But coming out of university with such a huge debt doesn’t mean that it’s not even worth going. Research by leading job site Adzuna shows that jobseekers without a degree can expect to earn £12,000 less per year than those people with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree which could add up to a deficit of over £500,000 over the course of their career.

Get To Grips With Your Finances

 

As well as being the first time you live away from your parents, university is often the first time that many young people have any degree of financial independence. Being responsible for getting your student finance, paying for your accommodation and paying for books and living costs can all be a bit overwhelming. It’s worth sitting down with someone you trust such as your parents or an older sibling or friend and ensuring that you understand your financial situation and what you have to pay and when. This will help to stop any problems in the future and help you have a good general overview of your finances.

 

Get a Bank Account

 

If you don’t already have a bank account, then get one. Before you go to university all of the banks release their student accounts and you will find that they come with a range of deals, discounts and special offers. You need to be very savvy when applying for the right student bank account because whilst you may be attracted by things such as cashback offers and free gifts, but these won’t be much good if you end up with an expensive overdraft. Look instead at the offers that will help you the most financially such as interest-free overdrafts. If you do end up going overdrawn (which many students do), you won’t be paying interest on this money and this can be a big saving over the course of your studies.

 

Consider Insurance

 

Think that paying out a few pounds per month for insurance is a waste of money?  It may take a chunk out of your student budget but you’ll regret not getting it if you’re one of the many students that are a victim of crime. Thanks to smartphones, tablets, consoles and laptops, students now own over £4500 worth of possessions according to Endsleigh insurance. That’s an awful amount of money to find if you are burgled and the loss of some of these items could impact your studies.

Learn How To Cook

 

One of the best ways to save money as a student is to learn how to cook. If you are living off campus or are in self catering accommodation, it can be easy to slip into bad habits and start living off takeaways and expensive junk food. Learning how to cook some simple but nutritious meals can see you save a significant amount of money, give you a valuable life skill and seriously give your health a boost! Buying meat, fruit and vegetables is a lot cheaper than using the local takeaway and if you shop savvy by looking in the supermarket reduction aisle, there are some serious savings to be made.

Do Your Incomings And Outgoings Add Up?

 

Listing all of our incomings and outgoings as a student will almost certainly see a deficit for most students. This means that you have to find a source of cash. The most obvious solution is to find a part-time job either in term-time or in the holidays and they can also add valuable experience to your CV. Sometimes student jobs can be hard to come by which means students often have to look to other sources of finance. A recent study by B&M stores found that students used a diverse number of ways to finance their studies as well as their student loans. These included:

 

  • Part-time jobs
  • Parents
  • Credit cards
  • Payday loans
  • Gambling
  • Paid surveys

 

Don’t forget too that as a student you are entitled to a discount with your NUS (National Union of Students) card at thousands of places in the UK and utilise the various voucher code and cashback websites too. These can really reduce your monthly outgoings. And if you are in need of a short cash injection before you get your next student loan payment, payday loans when used carefully can be an efficient way of bridging your income.

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