6 Things No One Tells You About Money For Uni



11 April 2019 0 comments

When it comes to managing your cash, forget the trial and error: Save the Student reveals winning strategies for getting – and keeping hold of – your money at university.

1. Student Finance is Over in a Flash

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Getting your first Student Finance pay-out is like winning the lottery, and then rent gobbles up most of your loan leaving you short for books, bills or bus fare. If you want to avoid the hardship, plan ahead!

Your budget doesn’t have to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem: just start by listing all the money you have coming in, and all the things you need to spend it on. If the sums don’t add up, you’ll either need to get more income, or cut your spending.

2. Finding a Job Doesn’t Have to Be a Drama

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Why wait around for the joys of shelf stacking when you can do something on your own terms?

There are loads of ways to bring in extra money, from going freelance to kick-starting a business or trading your talents. You can even forgo talent for plain old nerve if these gigs on Fiverr are to be believed. The point is – where there’s a will, there’s a wage.

3. Being Skint Can Cost You

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Like a Netflix season finale, some things don’t always make sense – and that includes penalty fees for over-spending when your bank already knows you’re skint. While we don’t know what that’s all about, there are ways to avoid the sting:

  • Get a 0% overdraft if you’re entitled to one (it’s a free buffer if you ever overspend or run dry).
  • Set-up SMS alerts or email notifications – anything that warns you you’re running low on funds before you spend ‘em.
  • Aim to clear your debts asap. Set money aside to cover your purchases even if you’re on a 0% deal to avoid being stung with charges later.

There are loads of ways to borrow money in a crisis. Whether it’s on an overdraft or a credit card, the smarter way involves planning ahead so you do it as cheaply as possible.

4. There are FREE Funds On Offer

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There’s a surprising amount of extra student support out there but, like Teresa May’s post-Brexit strategy, it’s a closely guarded secret. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Don’t discount scholarships just because you didn’t apply in your first year (or because you think they’re all about book smarts – they’re not!)
  • Your uni’s hardship funds can help out in an emergency, but you’ll need to have applied for any Student Finance you’re entitled to first, and you may need to show ‘em your budget.
  • There may be charity, career, council or professional funds relevant to your situation or subject. Talk to your welfare officer or get googling.

5. Prices Aren’t (Always) Set in Stone

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With all the love in the world, there are few things less awkward than British haggling – but it’s only asking if you can pay less. It might not work in supermarkets or snooty restaurants but for everything else, there’s mastering the art of haggling.

If you need a prop, use a reason: money off for paying in cash or for trading in, or just because you’re a student (even if they don’t advertise a student discount). If you’re super confident, step up to bartering, i.e., trading something you can do for something you want. We’re not saying it’s easy, but the secret is not being embarrassed about asking: the worst they can say is no.

6. You CAN End Uni Better Off Than When You Started

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The tips above should stand you in good stead but if you want to turn it up a notch, here’s what to tackle next:

  • Get more than one bank account to keep your essential cash (for rent, bills, etc.) separate – and secure –  from your spending money.
  • If you don’t need your loan or overdraft immediately, find a high-interest paying account to keep the money in to earn on it instead. Make sure you’re spot on with your budgeting first!
  • Save little, often and regularly. Your future self will hug you for this.
  • Show no loyalty to the banks: keep scouting and switching for better interest, overdrafts, charges or cash rewards.

Is it as easy as it sounds? Yes and no, but thinking about what you want your finances to look like a month, a year or a decade from now is great prep. Once you’ve got something in mind– and something to work towards – everything else can fall into place.

Written by: Save The Student


  • Finance

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