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How to save money as a student

The biggest challenge you will come across is handling your finances when at university. If you live away from home during your course, you will have a lot more responsibilities than you did before, like sorting bills, budgeting and paying rent. We have some advice to keep you in the black, and to guarantee you’ll save money as a student.

Bank Accounts

There are lots of different student-friendly bank accounts that you can sign up to. Some offer freebies like the 16-25 Railcard that will be worthwhile. Compare the different accounts and find the one that benefits you. Banks also offer overdrafts with 0% interest. But be careful about your spending throughout the university as this Student Overdraft offer can end once you graduate. If you do choose to sign up to it, make sure you plan how to pay back the money you borrowed as the normal fees will be very high.

Cover Yourself

It may seem like an extra and unneeded expense, but insuring your possessions will pay off it something happens. There are huge amounts of insurance companies that insure mobiles, laptops, mp3 players and tablets and even offer a multi-gadget option.  If you live in Halls check to see if your rent pays towards insurance and see what it covers and if you live at home make sure your gadgets are added onto your home insurance. Also, choose the insurance that covers a lot of different scenarios, like theft and accidental damage.

 

Ask For Help

One important thing to remember when you gain all these new responsibilities is to ask for help if you need it. There is a lot of help out there being offered by different organisations. You can head to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the Money Advice Service, finance offices and experts at your universities and don’t forget those close to you. Your family and friends are there to listen to you and aid you in your problems, and it will be a better alternative to going to them to borrow money than a payday loan or using a credit card.

Work Experience

Another route is to find a part-time job to get some extra cash while you’re studying. You can look in your local area or get a temp job back home to work where you go back to visit. The job will offer social and logical skills and experience.

Apps

There are apps to help out budgeting:

  • Credit Action Speedometer – It is free and available on Android and iOS. It calculates your outgoing and incoming and creates reports on your spending.
  • NUS Extra – another free app on iOS that sends you the best deals and discounts while you are out at local restaurants, shops and online. This works alongside the NUS Extra Card, which you can for an extra £12 a month.
  • Barclays Pingit – this free app from Barclays is available on Android, Blackberry and iOS. You can send and receive money via your mobile and is perfect if you need to sort out your finance quickly. And you don’t even need to be a Barclays customer! Kerching!

Extra Tips

  • Music – offer to be a volunteer music reviewer for the student paper or radio station and you could get free tickets to gigs. You’ll get to go to gigs, gain experience and it will look great on your CV.
  • Shopping – buying 1000 toilet rolls may seem ridiculous but you’d be surprised how quickly you get through them. Look out for offers and buy in bulk on things you use a lot of, like toiletries and things you can freeze, like bread. Checking comparison websites and buying online will help.
  • Clothes – now you are student, ask everywhere you shop if they offer Student Discount. It never hurts to ask! You can also try looking on eBay, in charity shops and check your Student Union Notice Board for updates.
  • Transport – if you don’t live too far from university then try investing in a bike. It will save on commuting costs and keep you healthy.
  • Books – Look for adverts to see if students are selling second-hand books from their previous year. Check online on Amazon, eBay and Waterstones Marketplace.

We know going to university is a big decision and don’t let all this extra decision making worry you. Note there is a lot of help and advice out there to keep you on track.

  • Write down your outgoing and incoming each month
  • Put money aside for bills in a different account so you don’t spend it
  • Stay away from payday loans with high interest
  • Try not to use a student credit card unless for emergencies and make sure you pay back the minimum monthly rate

Just remember our top tips and you’ll not only be having the best time at university but you will be free from money worries and you’ll be a step closer to understanding student bills.