Student Loans – How to spend them wisely

Moving out of the family home and fending for yourself when first starting university is daunting.  Living for the first year in halls of residence, however, usually means your utility bills are included in the rent and the lease term is geared specifically to university term times.

Second year students, however, are faced with living in private rented accommodation, with the added responsibility for gas, water and electricity bills as well as a longer lease term which your maintenance grant/loan may not cover.

Here are 4 ways to save money whilst at university:

1.  Shop for bargains – watch notice boards for special deals that the university is offering; save coupons to use when you next shop; find out what day/time your local supermarket reduces food to benefit from the reductions; shop in charity shops for clothes and household items like pans, cutlery etc; make sure you check in every store if they give student discount, and don’t pay too much for your software.

Check out our Student Store for massive discounts of up to 85% on software for students including Microsoft Office University @ £58.95 (a saving of £371.04 on RRP), Mindjet MindManager 2012 @ £58.50 (a saving of £151.50 on RRP), Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 @ £26.99 (a saving of £48 on RRP) and Adobe Design & Web Premium CS6 @ £425 (a saving of £1,385 on RRP), and much much more …

2.  Prepare a Termly Budget – at beginning of each term jot down a list of your anticipated expenditure (rent, utility bills, food, travel expenses, books and equipment etc.) Then, look at your income – (maintenance grant/maintenance loan/income from casual work/parents allowance).  Whatever money is left over is what you have to socialise on.  Once this amount has been determined, divide it by the number of weeks of that term and make sure you don’t exceed that amount in your weekly socialising. (Look into times when the university bars are offering special deals but don’t be tempted to miss a lecture because of Happy Hour!)

3.  Time Management – sharing a house with fellow students who may be on different courses means that you need to plan the most appropriate times to turn on the central heating, plan the best times to eat together to save time and energy, plan to do the weekly shop, and plan to share wash loads – again to prevent over-use of the washing machine/tumble dryer.

4.  Transport – To save money, try to find accommodation within walking distance from the university.  If this is not possible, look into buying a bus pass or, perhaps consider bringing your bike from home (along with a strong lock).  For regular journeys home, a railcard should save you money.

Click here to visit the Phoenix Student Store and keep checking our blog for special deals and handy tips.

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Adele Roberts

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