I promised some more installments for University/College-goers, so here is one! 🙂
“Budgeting” is a word you’re about to learn if you didn’t know it already, but the student life can be fun even on penny-watch.
Here are a few tips to help your money go further:
School Supplies: Everything from folders to pencils, from USB sticks to post-it notes will still be needed. The advantage you have is that once the youngsters are back to school this week, all that stuff will go on sale. Sainsbury’s have already started their sale. ** This is also a good time to get extra stock for later in the year if you have school-aged kids.** Buy the cheapest you can, (except in paper) it all gets lost or broken eventually.
Homeware: As we get past the ‘back to school rush’ the supermarkets and department stores will start selling stuff just for you students (and for those planning to set up home soon too). Make sure you know what’s included in your halls of residence and what’s allowed, then make a list accordingly. Include things like bedding, a kettle (and microwave/toaster if you don’t have access to a kitchen) and crockery/cutlery/utensils if required. BTW no-one cares what colour it is: white appliances are usually cheapest. Mugs being the exception, get cheap coloured ones as they will be easy to identify. **Don’t forget, anything with a mains plug (including phone and laptop chargers) needs a PAT test sticker for safety rules: These can be done by an electrician for about £2 per item, so remember to budget for it.**
Essentials/Emergency Box: Most students find their parents or other supporters providing these things but if you need to do your own then include the following:
- Loo Roll
- Hand Towel and Flannel
- Washing up liquid, cloths and tea towels
- Bleach or disinfectant spray
- Basic sewing kit (You may need to learn how to do this!)
- Usual toiletries and basic first aid supplies
- Basic food stock:
- Tea/Coffee?Sugar?UHT Milk
- Cheap snacks like noodles and cereal
- packets and tins of stuff that won’t go off quickly (soups, Jams, crisps, etc)
None of it is hugely exciting, but you will miss it if you don’t have it! Remember to get it as cheaply as possible. I also recommend Tupperware for leftovers and a permanent marker to name stuff if you’ll be sharing a fridge.
When you get your student Loan/Bursary/Scholarship money:
Make sure your fees are paid, even if you have finance that says it should be paid automatically, check the Uni received it!
Make sure accommodation is paid for the term or year (depending on how often you get your money)
Get stocked up: Food, toiletries and study supplies, even if you’ve got it now, will your stock last you until your next payment?
Set aside some money for books…My first set of books cost me £125! Some text books can be £25-30 each, so be prepared. Try to get second-hand, borrow books or even eliminate some of the reading lists.
Set a spending budget per week/month.
Seek out discounts: whether it’s student discount cards, travel passes or coupons for meals and drinks…take what you can get! Failing that, buy the cheapest you can that you are happy to use.
So that’s about it for today’s budget tips, I hope it helps. If you’re off to Uni soon I wish you every blessing and success!