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With the start of the academic year, comes the beginning of the financial future for many students.
For those starting out on university life, there are some tips they all need to be armed with; and for
those going back for second or third year a little refresh wouldn’t do any harm.
Think about savings
If you’ve been working throughout the summer, you may be heading off with some funds; of if
you’re lucky enough your family members may be feeling generous. Rather than just placing these in
your student bank account to be frittered away, look into opening a savings account. This could be
anything from an easy access savings account to a fixed rate cash ISA. It may sound like the last thing
you want to do, but you’re going to need money down the line.
Yes you’ve just started univeristy life. Freshmen week is in full swing and there are loads of parties to go to
and nights out spending your new student loan. Budgeting may seem like the last thing you want to
do and the most boring, but you do need to learn to live on a shoestring. Make weekly and monthly
budgets and stick to it.
You also need to be careful with your card. It’s too easy to just pay for everything without the need
for carrying cash; but it’s much easier to keep track of things when you pay for things in cash. If
you’re off on a night out, take what you’re willing to spend and leave the card at home. We all know
how tempting a round of Jager bombs can be when you’ve got the plastic in the pocket.
You don’t need a car
Rolling out of halls with your hair wet at ten to nine and jumping in your car to make an early lecture
sounds like the easiest thing in the world. It may be, but having a car at uni can be costly. There’s
insurance to think of, road tax and the ever increasing cost of petrol. Most university cities offer
great deals on student transport – you’d be foolish not to use them.
Whilst we’re on the subject of travel always make use of what’s available to you. Travelling home on
the train can be expensive. With a young person’s railcard, however, you can save up to a third on
fares. Available until the age of 25, it’s an essential student money tip.
Understand your tax benefits
Everyone says that students don’t pay tax, but if you’re working as well you may have to. If you’ve
earn over £8,105 in the current tax year you’ll be required to pay income tax, as well as national
insurance contributions (NICs) if you earn over £146 per week. If you only work in the holidays
though and you earn under this threshold you aren’t liable to pay tax. Always make sure you keep on
top of this.