6 Things to Budget For When You Start University
If you’re planning on taking the next step with your education and going to university, then you’re in for an exciting experience. University can be one of the most amazing places for people who want to discover their independence, learn about life, and also expand their opportunities for the future.
However, it’s worth noting that any form of higher education comes with a lot of extra expenses to consider – and your saving strategies will only get you so far. You won’t be able to live under your parent’s care anymore. Therefore, you’ll have your own bills to pay for things like rent, uni resources, and food.
Knowing what you need to budget for will help you to make the most out of your student loan when you get it. Speaking of loans, remember to compare the options available for yours before you agree to anything. This will help you to get the best interest rates.
1. University Course Expenses
The tuition fees that you pay for your education will cover some of the typical costs associated with your course. However, they won’t pay for everything. Consider the cost of textbooks, printing, and even the travel costs of getting to and from your work placement.
When you’re thinking about your student budget, make sure that you’ve taken all of the course essentials into consideration. This may also mean finding enough money to pay for a computer that you can do your coursework on.
Most students won’t have enough money to pay for food, living expenses, and a car at the same time. Usually, it’s much cheaper to use public transport to get around anyway. This is particularly true if you invest in a 16-25 railcard to get you a third off your rail fairs.
There are also plenty of other savings available. Save on travel with National Express deals or an Oyster cards (if you’re in London). Make sure that you’re paying the lowest possible prices to get around town.
Food is one of the biggest concerns that students need to worry about when they’re first starting Uni. Don’t worry; you won’t need to spend your life eating baked beans and noodles just to get by. You can eat normal, healthy meals – particularly if you plan your meals in advance with the rest of your room or housemates.
A good tip is to buy food in bulk and freeze meals that you can eat later. This will help to prevent any unnecessary waste in your household. Remember that you should always be making a shopping list when you go to the supermarket too!
University isn’t just a place where you get your degree; it’s also a valuable environment where you can make new friends and discover things about yourself. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to make sure
that you have some extra money aside to devote to entertainment. You don’t’ want to have to spend your life locked inside your dorm room after all.
The good news is that there are plenty of student-specific sites out there that will help you to save some money on fun nights out. Student discount sites like NUS Extra offer amazing deals on theme park visits, trips to restaurants and so much more.
Usually, when you’re staying in student housing, your electricity, gas and water bills will be included as part of your rent. However, if you decide to share a home with some roommates instead of living at the school, then you’re going to need to put some extra money aside each month to pay for these extras.
To make sure that you and the people you’re living with are getting the best deal, devote some time to comparing your utility provider options online. This will ensure that you’re not over-paying just because you’re sticking with the wrong company.
Don’t forget about your internet bills either – broadband is increasingly becoming a “utility” in the eyes of many students.
If you’re living outside of the university campus, then you’ll also need to think about rent expenses. Remember that you can usually save a lot of money by sharing a space with other people. However, you’ll also need to look for locations that are close enough to your school that you’re not paying a fortune in transport each day.
Think carefully about whether dorm-room accommodation or private housing is the cheapest option for you. Some people might even be able to take the train or bus to their Uni each day from their parent’s house and save some serious cash.