Finding your financial feet can take a while when you first embark upon your Uni career, even if you think you’ve been financed to the hilt with your government-funded student loan. As living costs go through the roof, make sure you’re prepared for the hit.
Before you go
Before your start, make sure that you do your research and apply for all the relevant grants and bursaries on time – don’t miss out on money that the government says you’re entitled to.
If you haven’t already got a student bank account, then make sure you get one. You’ll need to check with your bank what documents you’ll need, so pop in or call them. Most offer enticements of interest-free overdrafts and free gifts like cash back or railcards – but do ensure that the account is right for you.
Accommodation & insurance
Your accommodation costs are probably the easiest to calculate, with costs clearly outlined by universities and student accommodation companies in their brochures. While halls of residence are safe places on the whole, the free-living nature of the student lifestyle means that sometimes questionable characters are inevitably let in during parties and get-togethers, leaving your laptop, GHDs, cash etc. wide open to theft.
Student contents insurance is recommended and it’s a small monthly cost that will cover you in the event of theft or burglary. A lot of insurance policies will provide cover for items lost or stolen outside the house, such as handbags, iPods, laptops, phones, and bikes – so compare insurance policies to check what different policies will cover before you commit.
Ask your parents about things like electricity prices, water prices and gas prices before you leave for Uni. Get them to impart a bit of their worldly parental wisdom, and even if you end up living in a flat with four people as opposed to at home in a house with six, they’ll be able to give you a rough idea. Make sure that you and your new flatmates are aware of how you can cut down on wasted energy and money.
Don’t go to the supermarket or the local shop every day – this will drain your money in no time. When you’re settled into your accommodation with your new friends, why not suggest doing a communal shop online and getting it delivered? It’s an excellent time, energy and money saver.
Article by Moneysupermarket.com