Student finances

November 25th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Having no money and bills to pay can be extremely stressful and can make people feel constantly on edge and anxious. The articles below will offer help and advice on how to cope at university and how to save money and boost your earnings.

Help with finances

Going to university is increasingly expensive and many students struggle to stay afloat during the 3, 4 or 5 years they spend at university. Although students are entitled to apply for a loan, this often doesn’t cover the mounting costs of university life and many students feel the continuous burden of financial pressure. If you have the time, try and get a job to boost your earnings. If you are struggling with time, there are other options available; most students have a free overdraft facility with their bank account; if you have reached your overdraft limit it may be possible to extend it temporarily which may help you to pay upcoming bills or rent payments. Try to resist store cards and credit cards as most have extremely high interest rates. Many universities offer bursaries and financial support grants which can help to reduce the cost of tuition fees and university accommodation; further details of these schemes can be found online. Many students also rely on financial support from parents or other relatives; this is of course dependent on your individual situation.

Saving money

Student loans are designed to cater for the majority of your expenditure but many students find they are still constantly short of money; try to look out for money saving methods such as getting discount travel cards, booking travel tickets in advance, going to promotional student nights and events and using your NUS card to get discounts at shops and entertainment venues. You can also save money by having friends round to your house, rather than going out and cooking for yourself instead of getting takeaways. If you do go out, try to share the costs of getting home with others and limit the amount you drink.

Gap year

Many students take the opportunity to have a year out before going to university; try to save money during that year in preparation for your time at university.

Debt

Try not to worry about the debt you will amount as a result of taking out a student loan; you will not have to start paying it off until you are earning a decent wage so don’t let this cause you anxiety and stress during your time at university. Try not to take out any additional loans and if you can avoid being tempted into getting store cards or credit cards; they may lead you to spend more than you normally would and the interest is usually very high. If you do take out an additional loan, make sure you get advice from a financial advisor or a relative or friend that knows about loans; this will help you to choose the best option for you and will reduce the costs involved in the future. If you get into debt try to face up to it and take steps to get back on course; this may require cutting the amount you spend each week. Don’t bury your head in the sand and keep spending without thinking of the consequences; this will make things worse in the future and turn small solvable problems into much more complex problems which may take years of saving to solve.

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