You’ve paid the rent for your accommodation for the new term. Check.
You’ve bought your sparkling new pots and pans. Check.
You’ve done an online ASOS shop and bought those items you’ve been pining for. Check.
You’ve paid for your weekly shop. Check
Now you check your account balance and it’s a lot lower than you anticipated.
The new academic year has just begun and you are in a new environment. It’s important not to get carried away and misuse the money you have without looking for ways to make your money work for you so here are some practical tips to help you on your way.
Get a student account separate from your current account
The advantages of a student account are endless. The majority offer an interest-free (0%) overdraft of more than £500 with some banks offering £1400 in the first year and up to £3000 in your final year. These always prove useful when an unexpected bill comes knocking. Some banks even offer the free overdraft for a year after graduation to provide an allowance for repayment. Don’t forget other perks such as a 4-yr free railcard and amazon vouchers. Shop around, always read the terms and conditions and don’t go over your limit without contacting the bank, this isn’t a phone bill contract.
This sounds very boring but when done correctly, it can save you a lot of money. There are many money apps available to assist you in keeping track of past and future income and expenses, even that cheeky Dominos you get every Tuesday night. Income and expenses are divided into different categories and you can review how much you spent on everything from makeup to bus journeys taken last month. Apps are quick and easy to use on the go and help to collate all your money in one place.
Never buy anything full-priced
This goes without saying that as a student, you can get a student discount on almost everything. For stores that don’t offer student discount, there are alternatives that do. Sign up to websites like UniDays and Student Money Saver. If you’re making purchases online, search for discount codes posted by others on Google or social media. Loyalty cards that offer money off purchases and sites that provide cash back on purchases are also a great way to save money. You can also get a student discount on coach journeys and get cheaper rail tickets by using companies that offer split tickets. If you’re in a new city, contact the local bus company for some good deals on travelling around.
Keep the important receipts
Receipts act as a proof of purchase for warranties on large purchases such as kitchen appliances i.e. for your kettle when it stops working and for item returns and to get your hard-earned cash back. Without receipts, most stores only offer an exchange at most. Furthermore, receipts should be kept for reimbursements and claims, e.g. for that train that was delayed for more than 30 minutes.
Need a job? Apply at your university
If you need a source of income, contact your university. Jobs offered to students by your university are usually very well paid and provide an allowance for assignments and deadlines. Many also come with perks. For example at most universities, as a residential advisor, you are given a generous discount on your accommodation.
University is a great experience and the experience itself can be a lot better if you learn to manage your money in a smart way. Gain discipline in managing your money as a student will prepare for better financial circumstances as an adult.
This post has been written by Joy