93301 students are using the Uni Compare app
What students should avoid at university

What students should avoid at university

What students should avoid at university

There are many things students should avoid at university, from unpaid bill costs to unnecessary travel. We have a list of ways for you to save that extra bit of cash as well as advice for student budgeting.

Unplanned Overdraft

An unplanned overdraft is when you go over the limit of credit in your account. You can have a planned overdraft with the bank where you borrow money from them, but if you go over that, or go over when you don’t have a planned overdraft, then it becomes an unplanned overdraft, understanding student ban accounts is essential. They are extremely costly; you can be charged up to £5 a day and then £10 for each transaction/direct debit that comes out after that.

Overdue library books

When you take books out of the library, you are only allowed to borrow them for a certain amount of time. If you forget or don’t return them by the date specified, you will be fined by the university library for being overdue. You can avoid this by renewing your items; some universities can do this online while others you can pop in. Check your university library guide before borrowing.

Council Tax

As a student you don’t need to pay council tax; however, you need to inform your local council that you are a student or otherwise you will have to pay it. You can easily get a council tax rebate certificate from your university to prove to the council you are a student and for how long your course is for. If you live with another person, you can use the rebate certificate so that the other tenant will receive 25% off their council tax too.


If you don’t live at Halls but within walking distance, check how much money you can save every week by walking, cycling or travelling with a friend. Travel quickly, and if you have lectures in the morning and afternoon try to fit in a library or study session in between instead of paying out extra to return later in the day. This will help with revision and work you will have to do at the end of term as you are doing little and often.


When you first move in, make a note of the condition of your housing and remember to take pictures. Some landlords are not as great as the others and may try to swindle you out of your deposit by blaming you for faults and damages. If you have a clear record of the condition when you move in, it will protect you for when you move out.

Reading list

You may have received a long reading list or even more than one! Don’t buy them just yet and wait until you are at university before you do. Look to see if you can get them secondhand to save money, and if that fails, check to see if they are at your university library beforehand. In most cases, universities keep several copies of core textbooks so you may not even have to buy them at all!

Unpaid bills

When you become a student, you gain all kinds of wonderful responsibilities, and the main one is paying bills. Understanding student bills are essential, making sure your bills will come out of your account securely each month as if you miss a payment, whether the details are incorrect, you forgot to set up a direct debit, or due to insufficient funds this may cost you more than the bill! Companies can charge you for not paying on time, and it may put you into an unplanned overdraft which adds up even more!

Unexpected losses

This could mean if your belongings, like a smartphone, tablet or computer get lost or stolen or damaged. If your precious belongings get damaged or unusable in anyway, make sure you get insurance before you move to university. Insurance can be easy to set up and cheaper if you have it as a direct debit and insure more than one device/object. Remember to check that certain objects are under the insurance to save hassle at a later time. Paying out for a new computer, printer, phone or tablet will cost more than the insurance!

Becoming a student is not only an exciting decision but an expensive one! If you budget carefully and try to cut costs when you can, you will come out better (and smarter!) at the end of it.

Career Quiz: What Degree Shall I Study?

Join the 75,000 students that have already found their future career by taking our short 60-second degree quiz. Find out what you're like and what you could do, by discovering your strengths, personality, what you're passionate about, and some jobs and degree subjects that may be perfect for you!

Take Uni Degree Quiz

Student Advice