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Being a student and being financially independent (possibly for the first time) means it’s an opportunity to gain skills about managing your money which will be useful throughout your life. Like everything, it requires a bit of practice and learning as you go, so here’s some tips which might help!

  1. Make a budget – Work out how much money you have from your student finance and split that amount for the number of weeks you will need it to last you. This will help you figure out a weekly budget, which will help avoid getting to the end of the month/term and having less than you need. You could use the UCAS Budget Calculator, or there are apps to help you too.
  2. Use Student Discount – Your money can go further if you use your student discount, which is available at hundreds of different retailers, from technology to tacos, there’s likely to be discounts for pretty much everything you will need! You can use websites such as Unidays, Student Beans and the NUS Totum Card.
  3. Plan your meals – If you plan your meals for the week, you might be able to share with the people you live with by eating together, as well as being prepared when you do your food shopping so you don’t buy the things you don’t need. The money you save will mean you can eat out in places you lie rather than having to buy a meal deal for your lunch when you’re on campus or placement and have forgotten to make your lunch!
  4. Sign up for a Student Bank Account – All of the major banks have student bank accounts which have particular incentives and offers if you sign up. It’s worth looking around for the one which best suits your needs before you decide. You can switch from whoever you currently bank with if you want – there’s no obligation to open your student account with them.
  5. Look for food deals – When eating out, don’t forget to check if your student discount is valid where you want to go. When eating in, you could consider looking for deals in the supermarket, or switching to supermarket’s own brand items.
  6. Use second-hand – If you can’t find the textbooks you need in the university library, or if you need to have your own copy, you could consider second-hand copies of earlier editions, or copies that are no longer needed by other students. University bookshops might have them available, or you could look online.
  7. Travel thriftily – If you are commuting to university, you could consider car sharing with people who live close to you. Alternatively, you might consider a rail or bus season ticket as many offer student discounts. A rail card might also be a useful purchase if you travel back home via train as they offer discounts on train travel
  8. Get a part-time job – Many people work around their studies. It can give you great employability skills, as well as money in your pocket. Working 12 hours per week could be worth over £70 extra per week (depending on your age). Also, your employer might also offer discounts as part of your employment too!
  9. Take out insurance – This one might not seem obvious, but if you have contents insurance for all of your personal possessions, then you will have peace of mind if anything gets broken or stolen. It also means you won’t have to find the money for a potentially hefty purchase when you weren’t expecting it.
  10. Treat yourself – Managing your money can feel like a joyless task, but if you put a few things in place for yourself to save where you can, you will be able to treat yourself and not feel guilty or worry about it. University is as much about the experience you have as well as the qualification you work hard towards, so make sure you give yourself time (and money) to have fun too!
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