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Managing your money

When you come to university you'll have to juggle paying the bills with course costs.

Check out our top tips below to give you a head start in money management, find advice about working while studying and what kind of bank account to open.

Plan your budget

It's a good idea to draw up a budget and try to stick to it. If you have problems doing this, keep an eye on where you spend your money and draw up a list of priority spending. The Money Charity has made a video with tips on how to plan a budget:

Remember that your biggest bills, such as tuition and accommodation fees, are usually paid at the start of term. So you'll need to leave some money aside for then.

There are plenty of online tools that can help you plan your budget, here are a few you may find useful:

Make the most of your entitlements

Check the 'Student Finance Breakdown' letter from Student Finance England and make sure you're getting everything you're entitled to.

As a student, you can get a 30% discount on weekly and monthly Travelcards and bus passes by buying a special Student Oyster Photocard for £20. Remember that as a member of the National Union of Students (NUS), you'll get discounts in shops, bars and clubs. It may be worth getting a Totum Card, which is designed specifically for students, where you can get online discounts when buying goods.

Spend wisely

A student diet doesn't have to mean baked beans, chips and ready meals. You can eat cheaply and healthily if you take advantage of special offers and supermarket economy brands. Try to save takeaways and eating out for special occasions. Websites such as Shelf Scaper or apps like LatestDeals.co.uk can find and compare food items so you can get the cheapest ones available. Olio is an app you can download which shows what you food is available from local businesses that people can pick up so it's not thrown away.

And don't rush out and buy all of the course books and equipment on your list straight away. Wait until your course gets going and you know which ones are really essential.

Read the small print

Check any tenancy agreement for your accommodation before signing it. Are any bills included, for example? Will you be liable for full rent at times when you won't be there, such as holidays?

If things go wrong...

...and you find yourself in financial difficulties, get help as soon as possible. Money problems can affect other parts of your life, including your studies, so don't ignore them.

Call our Student Life Advisers on 020 8417 7312 – they are always on hand to offer advice.

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Student Life Advisers
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7312

Contact us

Student Life Advisers
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7312

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