Tips and tricks on how to become fabulous at finance
Going to university is at that time when you truly come to realise the meaning of independence. Whilst being a student is one of the most incredible experiences in a young person’s life. It is always good to be aware of some of the obstacles you may come across, like yes, money. First of all, don’t panic! Just being mindful about your finances is a great start. These are just some simple tips and tricks to help you save some pennies.
Sure it’s pretty wonderful seeing all that money in your account the day student loan drops in, but don’t blow it all. It may seem like a lot at the time but think about how long that money will have to last you. Set aside a little money for your fresher’s week, and stick to it if you think you will spend more than you need to.
Budgeting - Think about how much money you have coming in and going out. For example, if you’re not staying in halls and are renting instead, you will have rent and bills to pay.
Top Tip Alert: Don’t forget to compare prices of gas and water companies to find the best deal, and yes you have the right to do this when renting.
Perfect Bank - Various bank companies offer student accounts that have amazing perks such as interest-free overdrafts up to £2,000. Santander also provides a free 4-year railcard worth £90. It’s also worth getting an ISA account to stash any savings, which may come in handy in emergencies.
Say no to credit cards and payday loans - It’s best to ask a relative or even find out if there are any additional grants or bursaries available to you. The National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) offers financial advice to students and has advisers in many universities. Alternatively, the Citizens Advice Bureau is a local advice charity that can offer help.
Second-hand is the key - When it comes to studying, new books can be quite expensive, so have a look in libraries and check out second-hand books on amazon as you are more likely to find it cheaper and save yourself a little bit of money.
What’s cooking, good looking - It’s a good idea to learn to cook if you don’t already. Cooking your own meals will save you a lot of money and will be very useful in the long run. There are tonnes of easy to cook recipes online. Before you know it you’ll be giving Gordon Ramsay a run for his money.
The card of wonders - For only £12 a year, NUS Extra offers tonnes of discounts, for eating out, fashion, travel, entertainment and lots more. Just order your card from the NUS website and watch as you save. There are student discounts everywhere, but a lot of them are hidden, so it doesn’t hurt to ask, you’d be surprised. ‘UNiDAYS’ is a website (they also have an app) for university students that offer great discounts, particularly for you fashion-forward students. Charity shops are also a super cheap alternative, not to mention you can find some amazing stuff you won’t see anywhere else.
Are you a movie fanatic? - If so, you can watch the latest films for free just by taking your NUS card or student card into any Picturehouse cinema and signing up. It’s almost too good to be true.
Open up a thrift shop - Make extra money by selling any unwanted items you may have such as DVDs, CDs, clothes, shoes, whatever you have in a decent condition. Sites like eBay, Depop and music Magpie are just some of the websites where you can sell your goods.
By using these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a finance savvy student.
Undergraduate, University for The Creative Arts
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