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Money Saving Tips for Students

by James McGregor

Students are often short of money. This is because they cannot usually work full time and study full-time at the same time and they are young so are not paid that much money when they do work. They may be able to borrow some money, but this will not be much and they often have to use most of it to pay for rent and food. Therefore, they can often benefit from some money saving tips. 

Learn about Budgeting

It can be a wise idea to get a good idea about budgeting before you start your course. It can be hard to manage money when you are a student. Many students have not had to do this before as they have been living with parents and it can be particularly hard when you get a loan paid to you each term as you have a lot of money and you need to make sure that you make it last until the next instalment comes. This is a big ask of anyone. Earners will be used to being paid weekly or monthly and so it is much easier to manage compared with how students are expected to cope. Even having a basic understanding of the importance of calculating how much a week that loan works out to be can help. Obviously big chunks will come out too, such as rent so those need to be allowed for as well. It can be worth practising writing out a budget and keeping to doing this once starting at university. 

Understand about Cheap Deals

It is wise to have a good understanding of cheap deals. It can be very tempting to see that a shop has a sale and think that you need to buy things from there. It is worth noting a few things though. A sale item is only a bargain if you were going to buy it anyway. So, if you regularly buy a certain brand of cheese and it is reduced, then stock up at the lower price (as long as you know you can eat it before it expires). However, if you buy something because it is cheap but it is something you would not have otherwise bought, then you are not saving money at all, in fact you are spending more than you would otherwise have done. So, it can sometimes be better to avoid sales as you could end up spending more money than you otherwise would. 

Consider Working

It can help if you get a job. Of course, it is important to get a good life balance and this means that you need enough time to study, some time to rest and relax and enough sleep and it may not be possible to balance all of these out. However, it could be the case that you will be able to find some work that you can fit in during term times or that you can find some in the holidays that will allow you to have more money when you are at university. Many students will look for work in supermarkets and places like that, where they can change shifts according to their availability. However, there may be temp jobs that they can do in the holidays as well. If this feels a bit too much, then it could be possible to do small freelance jobs online. If you are creative, for example, showing examples of what you can do on social media can sometimes lead to job offers. Although these might just be one off jobs, it can still be worth it as you will get a chunk of extra cash. 

Try to Avoid Borrowing

Although most students have student loans and this is borrowing, this is not the sort of borrowing you need to be avoiding. There are student credit cards and overdrafts available as well as other types of loans. This means that students could easily be tempted to get some extra money, particularly if they do not have much of a student loan available to them. Loans are means tested and parents are expected to give their children any money they need but not all parents do this. However, borrowing can be problematic as it can cost a lot of money. It can be easy to see borrowing as ‘free’ money that you can spend but there is always a cost involved. You will find that there will be interest charged and sometimes fees as well which means that you will have to repay a lot more than you borrow. It can be useful to know what borrowing options are available for emergencies but you do not want to have too many loans and too much extra to repay and worry about. Remember, it is only student loans that ask for no repayments until you get a job, all other loans will charge interest right away and most will need regular repayments as well. Make sure you think hard and have a full understanding of how the loan works before you take it out. 

Bank of Mum and Dad

It is worth thinking about borrowing from your parents or asking them to give you money to help out. If they normally buy you gifts, perhaps for your birthday, they might be happy to give you money instead which could be more useful or to buy you things you might need but cannot afford. It might be the case that they will also lend you money that you can repay at a lower interest rate (or maybe interest free if you are lucky) compared with higher rates offered by banks. If you are not on a full loan, although the government doesn’t say it, parents will have to top up to help their children out. Otherwise, they will just not have enough money. It is worth approaching parents to ask them about whether they will do this before deciding on university so that you can be sure that you will have enough money to manage. 

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1 comment

Jane Stanton March 8, 2022 - 3:47 am

Looking for financial advice for when i head off to uni, header of last paragraph made me chuckle, great read!


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