Living in London is extremely expensive and living on a student budget is anything but easy. Staying on top of your money is an important part of making sure that you enjoy rather than endure the student experience. So, we’ve put together our top 10 tips to help you manage your money:
1. First things first, make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to. There are loans, grants, bursaries and more on offer (if you qualify). You can find a full list here.
2. Get a rail card. The 16-25 Railcard will get you 1/3rd off lots of fares. And it’s not only for those that are 16-25. If you’re a mature student aged 26 or over and are in full-time education, you are eligible, too. You can find out more information here.
3. Budget, budget, budget. Set aside some time to figure out what you need to pay for; work out your income and expenditure and go from there. Essentials like rent and food should be at the top of the list.
4. Find the best bank for you. With so many student accounts to choose from, it can be hard to find the best one. They all have different benefits, and you can find a list of student bank accounts to choose from here. Regardless of the bank account, here’s one thing not to do: never go over your overdraft (!) as you’ll be charged interest.
5. Get the best deals/student discounts. You’re probably already aware that you’re entitled to a number of discounts, but did you know you may even be eligible for council tax discounts as a student and much more? Get to know the discounts on offer and take advantage of them all!
6. Get a part time job. Or even sell your skills and make some money on the internet. You can find out more info about making money online here.
7. Always buy second hand text books; there’s no need to buy brand new books all the time! You can buy them from previous students at university or websites like eBay, Amazon etc.
8. And after you’ve done that (or maybe even before), sell your old unused books to new students that are in need. It’s a never-ending money-saving cycle!
9. Do your research and ask for guidance if you need it. Just like with your student bank account, you can compare your costs for lots more things, such as gas/electricity or even your phone bill, etc. Shop around and look for the best value for money.
10. Learn how to cook. Not only will you save lots of money, but home-made meals will be better for your health, too.
And here’s an extra – don’t blow your loan in one go. Fair enough, if you have rent and bills to pay, then a large amount is inevitably going to go, but there’s no need to go on a shopping spree and buy all those things you claim to need but deep down, know you really don’t. It’ll just make it so much harder for you in the long run.
Drop-in opening times
Cavendish & Harrow
Thursday 11 – 1 (Harrow only)
Regents & Marylebone