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5 money tips for a smooth transition into university life in the UK

These are 5 nifty tips for you to make your money last as you transition to university life in the UK
BY Sylvia Nankivell |   07-12-2018

money tips

Going to university is one of the most exciting and stressful things a student can do. There’s a lot to think about, and planning ahead is highly recommended.
 
The best way to start your time at university is as smoothly as possible, but with so much to bear in mind, that’s easier said than done. Thankfully we’ve put together this handy guide.
 
Here are 5 tips that will take the tension out of the transition. Read on to discover a straightforward and hassle-free path to this important phase of your life…!
 

  • 5. Budgeting
    If you’ve never done a weekly or monthly budget before, now’s the perfect time to start. Uni life is famously tough on the financial front, and you should be switched on.
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  • Here’s the thing. There are these wonderful creations called apps that can help you plan a simple and effective budget. Money Dashboard is just one great option.
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  • This is particularly good if numbers are scary, because the calculating is done for you. Many apps have colourful displays that give you a clear overview of your accounts. 
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  • Once you’ve mastered your money, there’s the question of what to spend it on! Shopping in Britain is tricky, what with high food prices and a tough economy.
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  • A good tip is to shop later in the evening, when quality staples such as bread are reduced.
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  • 4. Work
  • It’s a fact of student life around the world… you’ll probably have to take a part time job in order to survive. The UK “gig economy” can be helpful for this, with flexible hours.
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  • There’s a but coming. Be careful when choosing roles because sometimes zero hours means no hours. Make sure you’re working enough for it to be worthwhile. 
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  • Thankfully there are plenty of dedicated websites with resources to help you supplement your studies. A link to one of these is here
     
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  • 3. Travel
  • If you’re an international student then you should be aware of travel options. But whether you’re coming from Texas or Taunton, do you know how to save on transport?
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  • Now, a 16-25 Railcard is a tried and tested choice for students who would otherwise be subject to wallet-worrying train fares. It gives you a third off your journeys.
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  • If you’re living in a big city like London, then bus travel is going to be variable. There are times where traffic will be at a standstill for long periods of time.
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  • An Oyster Card is a great way of cutting through the costs, if not speeding up that commute! And of course there’s the ISIC card if you’re from abroad.
     
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  • 2. Socialising
  • One of the best things about being at university is the friends you’ll make. However, to do that you have to take the plunge and introduce yourself to people!
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  • We know what you’re thinking. You’re probably away from home for the first time and nervous. But if you don’t socialise you’re going to miss out on a lot of fun.
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  • The key thing to remember is that everyone is in the same situation. You may be confident in approaching folk, but if you’re not then don’t worry, others are anxious too.
     
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  • 1. Discounts
  • In case you hadn’t heard, when you start student life you also have access to a range of discounts, on everything from travel to clothes and eating out.
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  • Have you heard about this? The TOTUM card is your gateway to all these goodies. If you’re an international student then there’s also the deals you can get through ISIC.
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  • Also, on a non-student note, when going into the supermarket it’s worth keeping an eye out for discarded receipts that may contain unclaimed rewards. This is known as wombling!
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  • And a fun way of making spare cash as you shop is cashback. That’s where you are literally paid for retail therapy. Read more about how to do that here.

 

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