Starting at university can be a daunting task. For many it will be the first step towards independence so any help or advice is a good idea to take on board.
For those who have not spent time away from home before, there are a lot of new responsibilities that you must be accountable for – such as your finances. During your first year in halls of residence, you will be helped out quite a bit as the halls of residence offer a lot of support to help you manage your finances better. Utility and electricity bills are included in the rental fee; therefore you only have to pay one all-inclusive bill and the terms of rental are usually only relevant during term times.
However, after your first year, you may decide to move into other independent living quarters. This can be quite a shock to the system as now you will be responsible for paying all of your bills separately: rent, gas, electric not to mention new travel costs. You will be expected to be able to manage your finances well.
4 top tips for managing your finances and ensuring you live a comfortable and worry free student life are listed below:
- Keep an eye out around campus for signs and posters advertising special offers and discounts for students in shops. You can save on many necessary products this way. Especially when purchasing books and stationery. Always ask if student discount if offered in store before making your purchase and keep an eye out online for any special discounted software for pupils. By purchasing this software you are ensuring that you have the best software available to aid you in your studies but making amazing savings at the same time.
- During your time in shared housing, it is a good idea to try and time your shopping, cooking and heating with your housemates. By cooking together and shopping together you can really save on electricity and gas costs as well as being able to buy in bulk at the supermarket.
- Set your finances out in advance of each term by making a note of all of your expenses so you know that you will have enough money to last you the whole term. Expenses may include: rent, utility bills, food, books and travel. Divide the total cost of these over the number of weeks in the term and you will be able to see clearly how much money you have left over per week. By having a clear understanding of your finances, it will be easier to handle any unexpected costs that may come along.
- Transport can become quite an expensive addition you your university costs. To combat any travel costs spiraling out of control, try and find accommodation close to campus. That way you can walk into your lectures each day. Perhaps bring a bicycle or purchase a second hand one to get you from place to place during term time and consider investing in a bus or train pass in order to visit home at a reduced cost.
Perhaps of all expenses at university the software is the biggest single expense. It is also one of the most important necessities to aid you in your studies. Purchasing specially discounted software for pupils online will dramatically reduce your software costs and enable you to have the best start.