So, you are looking forward to getting away from home, experiencing your long awaited freedom and embarking on your new university adventure, right? But, chances are, you haven’t really thought about how you are going to budget, or what you need to pay out for whilst living at Uni.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face at university is managing your money, so we have come up with a list of the top 5 things you need to remember are now your responsibility to pay out for.
It’s probably the most important thing whilst you are at university; having a roof over your head, and keeping it there. Whether it is in halls of residence or student housing, you will have to pay rent either monthly or quarterly, and it’s not a good idea to skip any of the payments. Not only will you probably end up paying a late fee on top of the original payment, but they also have the legal power to evict you from the property if you don’t pay up. Scary, huh? Just pay your rent on time!
This is one of those things in life that people either genuinely forget, or try and do without because they see it as an unnecessary expense. For £145 per year, you can watch as much TV legally as you want, and if you’re sharing accommodation, simply split it between you! And if that wasn’t enough, you are also eligible for a student discount version of the TV License which lasts for 9 months (as you are expected to be at home during the summer months). But, if you want to really cut costs even further you could just stick to providers like Netflix and avoid using the TV.
For more information on TV and internet packages visit our guide to broadband.
Food, Glorious Food
You need to eat, and not just toast! Or takeaways for that matter. You need to set a budget for your food, and if you don’t know what you should be buying, ask your parents. After all, they have bought the food you have been eating for the entirety of your existence. If you want to avoid impulse buying junk food you should shop online. Not only can you browse the products and buy them online, but you don’t even have to pick up the shopping, you can select a time for delivery that suits your university schedule.
For some great hints about how to survive your weekly food shop, visit our five great food tips for students article.
Although these might not be relevant to those going into halls of residence, you could still face them if you opt for a student house with your mates. The main things you’ll have to pay for are gas, electric, water and the internet. You need to make sure you are up to date with these bills to avoid being cut off. Yes, really, they can cut your electric off. Consider setting up a direct debit for bills, so they should come out automatically every month. If you are sharing a house why not set up a joint account purely for the bills to avoid any arguments over who owes who money.
For more information on Utility Bills visit our guide to utilities for students.
All of the other stuff
There are lots of other things you will have to pay out for, but this depends on your choice of lifestyle. Generic added costs include things like bus fares, books, and dare we say it…nights out. If you are wanting to properly budget, try to buy your bus fares in bulk at a discounted rate, buy your books second hand, and limit yourself to the amount of times you go out in one semester (we know this won’t happen, but it was worth a try).
It’s all about the budget
As you can see, money matters when leaving home to go to university, but they can all be overcome with a bit of pre-planning and setting yourself a budget. It’s not glamorous, but life isn’t particularly, and you’ll be glad you did a bit of list making instead of winging it, when you’re at the end of the month and you don’t have enough money for a pint of milk.
Budget, and you won’t go without. It’s really that simple.